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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid