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NOAA: No giant floating island of tsunami debris

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS / JULY 2012Buoys, foam and other debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami are strewn about on a beach on Kayak Island, Alaska.
    ASSOCIATED PRESS / JULY 2012
    Buoys, foam and other debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami are strewn about on a beach on Kayak Island, Alaska.

WASHINGTON >> Federal officials say there is no island of debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami floating toward the United States.

Some media reports have warned of a Texas-sized island of wreckage, based on a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration map of tsunami debris.

But NOAA marine debris chief Nancy Wallace says that’s not true. She said today that there’s an area in the Pacific where debris is likely to concentrate more, but there’s not much there.

She said if you were on a boat in that area, the chances are you’d only be able to see maybe one or two pieces of debris.

NOAA estimates 1.5 million tons of tsunami debris is dispersed across the vast northern Pacific, but officials have only verified 35 items as from the tsunami.

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