Wrecked cars, portions of homes, boats, furniture and more...all swept up by the destructive, magnitude 9.0 earthquake that struck off the coast of Japan 11 months ago are on a slow motion collision course with California according to FoxNews.com
The wreckage from the March 11, 2011, disaster could include virtually anything that floats, according to oceanographer and beachcomber Curtis Ebbesmeyer and that includes portions of houses, boats, ships, furniture, cars and even human remains. "I would not be surprised to see some fishing vessels by April and the main mass of debris start arriving a year from this March," Curtis Ebbesmeyer told FoxNews.com.
The flotsam is expected to increase, with the bulk of the debris hitting some time in 2014. It's hard to say exactly how big the debris is or even where the majority of it is because after the tsunami, the debris was closely clumped together. After storms and over time, it get broken up and not much of it are not visible from the satellites at this moment.
High resolution satellite cameras could pick up the scattered remains the houses and cars, the ruined fishing boats and oil drums. But setting such a camera to exhaustively scan the vastness of the Pacific Ocean would be tedious and expensive, he noted. There's no good efficient way to do it just because it is spread out by now over such a huge area.
Ebbesmeyer said floating debris travels at about 7 mph but it can move as much as 20 mph if it has a large area exposed to the wind, according to a report in the Associated Press. The debris is not expected to be radioactive. That radioactivity is probably not an issue since the tsunami carried most of the debris seaward before the failure of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor.