Fear of debris still there after Japan tsunamiUPDATED 8:22 PM HST Mar 11, 2014Video Transcript
Fears for the future just as we pass the THREE-year mark since the Tsunami in Japan ... Scientists say there's plenty of debris still out there, problem is: you just can't see it! KITV4's Cam Tran ... talks to scientists who are tracking the next wave of debris heading our way. 30 More than one year after this devastating tsunami struck Japan, this blue bin found near Rabbit Island marked the first tsunami debris to arrive on the islands. After the japan tsunami Nikolai Maximenko and his team developed a model to track the tsunami debris. He says lighter objects driven by the wind, like this bin, were the first to reach Hawaii. Dr. Nikolai Maximenko, Int. Pacific Research Center IN: 05:04 IN 2012 THE FRONT EDGE OF THE TSUNAMI RECIRCULATED SOUTH THROUGH CALIFORNIA CURRENT AND PUSHED BY TRADE WINDS TO HAWAII 5:17 Then in 2013, a wave of heavier objects like boats washed shore including this 20 foot skiff near Kawela Bay. Now some of the heaviest debris, like large lumber are making it to the shorelines IN: 6:27 CURRENTLY MOST OF THE REPORTS THAT WE'RE RECEIVING HEY ARE ABOUT WOOD FROM BROKEN JAPANESE HOUSES, POLES, ELECTRICAL AND TELEPHONE POLES AND BROKEN TREES. 6:40 One example: this section of a beam found washed ashore in Waimanalo. IN: 11:28 WE BELIEVE THIS WOOD IS FROM A JAPANESE HOUSE BROKEN BY TSUNAMI DEBRIS Maximenko says because the wood is so heavy, most of them are still suspended in the middle of the ocean. 14:22 WE ESTIMATE THERE MAY BE UP TO 1 MILLION BEAMS AND LOGS, POLES STILL FLOATIN GIN THE OCEAN After the wave of wood, scientists say what washes shore will be smaller and smaller as it gets worn down by wind, waves and currents. They could break down to microparticles and microplastics which could be detrimental to sea life. IN: 25:22 THESE TINY PARTICLES ARE MISTAKEN FOR FOOD AND INGESTED BY OCEAN LIFE AND SEABIRD. AND VIRTUALLY EVERY SEABIRD IN THE PACIFIC HAD SOME PARTICLES IN THEIR GUTS. 25:47 Cam Tran, KITV 4 News. The DLNR says as of right now.. it has 17 confirmed reports of tsunami debris. On today's three year anniversary... the Hawaii tourism Authority released this statement saying quote... "The resilience of the Japanese people ... has helped them to heal and move forward from this tragedy. However-- we know they are still recovering --- both physically and emotionally. The losses they endured can never be forgotten."