Tsunami Debris Washes Ashore In Hawaii

Category: Society / Nov 30, 2012 12:42PM EDT
The massive earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands and ravaged Japan in March 2011 also unleashed 1.5 million tons of debris into the Pacific Ocean, some of which has found its way to Hawaii's Kamilo Beach - what many call the world's dirtiest beach. The beach, already a dumping ground for an estimated 20 tons of garbage sent ashore by clockwise ocean currents, finds itself in the path of tons of floating debris from the Japanese tsunami. The debris has already impacted the region's wildlife with necropsy results showing that seabirds are digesting plastic. The beach is a victim of what is known as the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" - a swirling mass of trash spanning thousands of miles between Hawaii and the U.S mainland. Scientists fear that phenomenon will cause tsunami debris to become a more common sight in these waters in the coming months and years. The March 2011 tsunami, caused by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, killed nearly 16,000 people and left over 3,000 missing on Japan's main island of Honshu.