Japanese Tsunami Debris Could Hit Alaska Shores
Unknown exactly when or how much
PACIFIC OCEAN - It has been nearly a year since a devastating earthquake and tsunami struck the east coast of Japan. More than 10,000 people died and millions of tons of their belongings were swept out to sea.
The question now is how much debris is still floating?
At the time, the Japanese government estimated more than 20 tons of debris was swept into the water, but new models suggest the figure is much lower, somewhere between four and eight tons.
There are lots of similar questions, according to The Ocean Conservancy’s Nicholas Mallos.
“How much is afloat and how much is the total quantity that is still out there? How much has already sunk and how much of that will still be floating from now until making potential landfall?”
Another big question is, where and when will the debris make landfall? The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration predicts the majority of debris that lands on Alaska shores won’t arrive until 2013 or 2014, and when it does Southeast Alaska is the likely first stop.