The huge mass of an ocean debris field from the tsunami in Japan is headed towards the West Coast and Hawaii. The ruins of houses, cars, trees along with human remains are just some of the things contained in this floating island. When the debris field hits the U.S. shores, some very disturbing and grisly findings could be among the garbage that floats in, according to NPR.
The debris field is so large, that there is no way to clean it up before hitting the US shores. This debris field is going to hit the Hawaiian Islands first and then make its way to the West Coast of the U.S. and British Columbia.
The University of Hawaii’s International Pacific Research Center has calculated that debris will wash up for years on the West Coast and Hawaii. Wind and Ocean currents will bring the debris field in this direction.
Vancouver News reports that a floating island, of bodies and debris is causing chaos in Pacific shipping lanes. This island is approximately 70 miles long and just one of the many islands of floating debris in the Pacific right now headed toward the US coast.
The debris mass, which appears as an island from the air, contains cars, trucks, tractors, boats and entire houses floating in the current heading toward the U.S. and Canada, according to ABC News. Over 200,000 buildings were washed away by the tsunami with their debris included in this field of garbage floating towards the U.S. and Canada.
The largest island of debris is 69 miles long and covers more than 2.2 million sq. ft., according to the US Navy’s 7th fleet, which is monitoring the floating garbage. Lieutenant Anthony Falvo, the deputy public affairs officer, whose interview appears in the Vancouver Sun, says that if a ship encounters this floating mass it “can do anything from piercing the hull of a ship to leaving dents or getting wrapped up in the propulsion systems.”
Once the debris field reaches the West Coast it will cycle into the Pacific Garbage Patch which is a floating island of garbage that has been growing in the Pacific Ocean.
The timeline for this mass of debris to hit the US is estimated to start in about a year with the first pieces of debris showing up on the shore. Items that easily float like boats, wood from houses and plastic children’s toys will appear, according to oceanographer Curt Ebbesmeyer on ABC News. Two years out, fishing supplies and nets will come ashore and after three years the debris field will dump shoes, plastic furniture and even entire dinning sets, along with many other items.