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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs