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

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora