Wednesday, October 26, 2011

18 million tonnes of tsunami debris drifting to B.C., Canada

Up to 18 million tonnes of tsunami debris floating from Japan could arrive on British Columbia's shores by 2014, according to estimates by University of Hawaii scientists.

A Russian training ship spotted the junk — including a refrigerator, a television set and other appliances — in an area of the Pacific Ocean where the scientists from the university's International Pacific Research Center predicted it would be.

The biggest proof that the debris is from the Japanese tsunami is a fishing boat that's been traced to the Fukushima Prefecture, the area hardest hit by the March 11 disaster.

Jan Hafner, a scientific programmer, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that researchers' projections show the debris would reach Hawaii's shores by early 2013, before reaching the West Coast.

They estimate the debris field is spread out across an area that's roughly 3,200 kilometres long and 1,600 kilometres wide located between Japan and Midway Atoll, where pieces could wash up in January. more