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UPDATED: Anderson finds floats from tsunami zone
Chris Cook - Forks Forum photoREAD UPDATE BELOW:
Master beachcomber John Anderson of Forks stands with a black float and the foam insides of a blue-cloth-covered float that have drifted from Japan to a Pacific Coast beach near Kalaloch. The floats have been identified as coming from the Tahoku earthquake and tsunami that hit the northeast coast of Japan in March. Anderson said he found the floats on the beach in early December. Seattle oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer had identified the floats as being from the tsunami-ravaged coastline, he said. Ebbesmeyer was a main speaker at a recent talk on preparations for the arrival of massive amounts of debris on the Washington caast from the disaster in Japan.
Ian Miller, Ph.D, Coastal Hazards Specialist, Washington Sea Grant
I wanted to continue the focus on marine debris from the Japanese tsunami generated by Curtis Ebbesmeyer's December 13th presentation at Peninsula College and the subsequent reports in the PDN regarding Japanese tsunami buoys. Two days after Curtis's talk NOAA published a nice ~12 minute podcast summarizing some of their modeling results and other analyses concerning when, where and how much debris can be expected around the eastern Pacific.
NOAA's conclusions (taking into account considerable uncertainty) sound similar to Dr. Ebbesmeyer's. While we are seeing the forefront of the debris "field" already, models suggest that the bulk of the debris will make landfall on our coast late next year and in 2013.
Additionally, NOAA has set up two tools designed to track debris. The first is an email to which accounts of Japanese tsunami debris can be sent. Include when, where and any additional information (photos): DisasterDebris@noaa.gov
The second is a smartphone app designed to do the above work of emailing marine debris information automatically. Find it here: http://www.marinedebris.engr.uga.edu/
I also encourage everyone to keep in mind that our coast is at risk for a seismic event, with tsunami-generating capacity, of a scale of the Tohoku earthquake. As we prepare for this debris please also use it as a reminder that we must continue to prepare, though response planning and adaptation strategies, for a large seismic event on the Olympic Peninsula.