Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Watch out for that coffee table while you are out there surfing...
by Mark Duell
Televisions, fridges and furniture pieces are heading for Hawaii, as a huge amount of debris from Japan’s earthquake sails across the Pacific.
Up to 20 million tons of debris from the earthquake in March is traveling faster than expected and could reach the U.S. West Coast in three years.
A Russian ship’s crew spotted the debris – which included a 20ft long fishing boat – last month after passing the Midway Islands.
‘We have a rough estimate of 5 to 20 million tons of debris coming from Japan,’ University of Hawaii researcher Jan Hafner told KITV.
Experts have revised predictions to say the debris will now reach the Midway Islands by winter and Hawaii in less than two years.
Crew members on the Russian training ship STS Pallada spotted the debris 2,000 miles from Japan, including a fishing boat from Fukushima, reported AFP.
‘They saw some pieces of furniture, some appliances, anything that can float – and they picked up a fishing boat,’ Mr Hafner told KITV.
A crew member told AFP: 'We keep sighting things like wooden boards, plastic bottles, buoys from fishing nets [small and big ones], an object resembling a wash basin, drums, boots, other wastes.'
'We also sighted a TV set, fridge and a couple of other home appliances.'
A spokesman for the International Pacific Research Center at the University of Hawaii said: 'The Russian ship... found an array of unmistakable tsunami debris on its homeward voyage from Honolulu to Vladivostok.'