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Tsunami Debris Heading for West Coast of U.S.

In 2001, we reported that dust clouds from China regularly sweep across the Western United States, bringing with them bits of rock, dinosaur fossils and even particles of mummies." Now pollution is arriving from the Japanese tsunami in the form of massive floating rubbish islands almost 70 miles long, containing the remains of destroyed cars and buildings, as well as human body parts. More than 200,000 buildings were carried out to sea by the tsunami caused by the 9.0 quake on March 11.

The Daily Mail quotes Seattle oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer as saying, "I'm expecting parts of houses, whole boats and feet in sneakers to wash up. I'm expecting the unexpected. If you put a major city through a trash grinder and sprinkle it on the water, that's what you're dealing with."

Will some of the debris be radioactive? They quote nuclear power expert James Hevezi as saying that yes it would, "bu it would be very low risk. The amount that would be on the stuff by the time it reached the West Coast would be minimal."

The Navy, Coast Guard, international shippers and fishermen are all worried that this will cause chaos in the Pacific. They quote Navy Lt. Anthony Falvo as saying, "The damage it can cause is anything from piercing the hull of a ship to leaving dents or getting wrapped up in propulsion systems." It won't arrive soon and only a small amount of it will wash ashore: The first debris islands from Japan are due to reach Washington, Oregon and California in a year's time, carried by currents towards that will then send it them to Hawaii, then back again toward Asia.

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