News / USA

    Japanese Tsunami Debris Arrives in Oregon

    Oregon Parks and Recreation Department photograph shows a very large and heavy dock that washed ashore on Agate Beach, north of Newport, Oregon on June 6, 2012.
    Oregon Parks and Recreation Department photograph shows a very large and heavy dock that washed ashore on Agate Beach, north of Newport, Oregon on June 6, 2012.
    VOA News
    A huge dock that was cast away by last year's devastating Japanese tsunami has washed ashore 8,000 kilometers away on an Oregon beach in the northwest U.S. Pacific region.

    The 20-meter-long concrete and metal structure came ashore early Tuesday morning about 170 kilometers southwest of Portland, ending a nearly 15-month journey across the Pacific Ocean.  Chris Havel, a spokesman for the state's Parks and Recreation Department, said Japanese diplomats confirmed the floating dock came from the northwest part of the country, thanks to a small metal plaque with Japanese writing attached to it.



    Various debris from the March 11, 2011 natural disaster began appearing along the western U.S. coast.  But Havel said authorities were not expecting any debris of this size to wash up on U.S. shores for a long time.

    Interview: John Chapman on concerns over what the dock carried with it.
    Interview With John Chapmani
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    ​"The larger, heavier objects that were mostly submerged, the prediction was those would be driven mainly by currents, and that the guess was that those would take a little more time to arrive, it would mainly arrive next year," said Havel. "So seeing something like this, this large, this early, is a surprise, but predictions like that are not a matter of pulling out some book and looking at a table of figures and saying ah-ha, it will take exactly 32.1 months for this object to arrive.  There's a lot that's not known about circulation patterns out at sea."

    • A man looks at the massive dock that washed ashore on Agate Beach on June 5, 2012, in Newport, Oregon.
    • The metal plaque from a large dock that washed ashore Oregon's Agate Beach.
    • The large dock that washed ashore early on June 5, 2012 on Agate Beach in Oregon.
    • An exotic pink Japanese acorn barnacle is attached to a dock float that washed up on Agate Beach near Newport, Oregon, June 7, 2012. State authorities are considering how to dispose of the millions of marine creatures that hitchhiked across the Pacific Oc

    Havel said the dock had an empty space in the middle which allowed it to float across the ocean from Japan to the United States.  Tests conducted on the dock were negative for radiation, which it could have picked up after the tsunami caused a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

    Havel says officials are trying to decide how to dispose of the deck, and who would be responsible paying for it.  

    An abandoned Japanese fishing boat appeared off the coast of the northwestern U.S. state of Alaska in late April, more than a year after it was sent it drifting aimlessly across the Pacific Ocean by the tsunami.  It was sunk by a Coast Guard vessel out of concerns it would pose a significant danger to ships sailing in the area.

    You May Like

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: James from: Nebraska
    June 08, 2012 7:05 PM
    Demolishing the dock is likely cheaper than hauling it somewhere and refurbishing it for use again; I suspect the property owners around the area see it more of an eyesore than a museum piece, and if every piece of debris that washes ashore is "preserved" we will have a lot of museums.

    by: Anonymous
    June 07, 2012 9:29 PM
    Keep it right there for Tsunami memorial musium if it is not health hazadous to people.

    by: Lady of the lake from: Loch Lomand
    June 07, 2012 1:18 PM
    The obvious solution is not to destroy the item but rather for some community, company or person to actually USE the dock.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora