Three years after Japan tsunami, suspected bits of debris arrive on Washington shores

Three years after Japan tsunami, suspected bits of debris arrive on Washington shores
Mike Krumboltz

In March 2011, an undersea earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan and resulted in more than 15,000 deaths. Three years later, the disaster's aftermath is still being felt in ways large and small, far and wide.

On a beach in southern Washington, approximately 4,500 miles across the Pacific Ocean, debris that may be from the tsunami is washing ashore, KING-5 in Seattle reports.

Experts have yet to confirm that the debris, which includes small fishing boats, foam blocks, and water bottles,  is all a direct result of the tsunami. However, George Hill, a tow-truck driver who spoke with KING-5, said that many of the water bottles and assorted items of trash appear to have originated in Japan.

Hill, who hauls away the large pieces of debris, told KING-5 there are portions of the beach that look like a dump truck just emptied a huge pile of trash.

Washington state has been keeping track of the debris that is confirmed to be from the tsunami. Items include boats, portions of docks, and volleyballs that have all washed ashore over the past three years. Alaska, California, and Oregon have also been monitoring their coasts.

The most recent waves of debris began to arrive on beaches on Friday, according to WNEM.com. Authorities are investigating to see if the boats and other items can be identified. They will also be checked for invasive species.

In addition to the mass destruction and thousands of deaths, the earthquake that caused the tsunami altered the spin of the planet, according to reports.

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