Loading...
Environment

Japan Tsunami Debris Headed to Southern California Beaches

Comments (0)

By

Fri, Apr 8, 2011 at 9:01 AM

click to enlarge Curt Ebbesmeyer.
  • Curt Ebbesmeyer.
Next year we could see an eerie reminder of one of the world's worst tsunamis when pieces of houses, whole boats, and even toys wash ashore at Southern California beaches.

This is according to an L.A.-born oceanographer, Curt Ebbesmeyer, who tells ABC News it's coming our way slowly but surely following the March 11 calamities in Japan.

Already ship captains have reported tsunami debris in the ocean as the flotsam heads toward the North Pacific Gyre. Here's how ABC says it will go down:

More than 200,000 buildings were washed out to sea by the tsunami and now a powerful current called the North Pacific Gyre is carrying everything towards the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California before looping back towards Hawaii and Asia.

click to enlarge Headed our way.
  • Headed our way.

Stuff moves from Asia to California at a rate of 5 to 10 miles per day, meaning that debris from northern Japan could be here in about a year, Ebbesmeyer says.

He told ABC:

So you have to imagine a city say the size of about Seattle, put it through a grinder and what happens? You wind up with all kinds of debris - bodies, boats everything from a person's life including the living themselves and half that's probably going to float.

Other oceanographers have disputed that bodies would end up here, though, citing the macabre specter of sea-life scavenging.

Still, some of the stuff, wood from homes with protruding nails, toxic waste such as paint cans, will probably wash ashore in California in 2012, and it could be dangerous.

Related Content

Now Trending

Los Angeles Concert Tickets

Slideshows