Japan tsunami debris reaches Wash. coast

Japan tsunami debris reaches Wash. coast

Tsunami waves swirl near a port in Oarai, Ibaraki Prefecture (state) after Japan was struck by a strong earthquake off its northeastern coast Friday, March 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT, FOR COMMERCIAL USE ONLY IN NORTH AMERICA, NO SALES

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by Associated Press

kgw.com

Posted on December 15, 2011 at 12:22 PM

PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) -- Debris from the March tsunami in Japan has started reaching the West Coast.

A large black float about the size of a 55-gallon drum was found two weeks ago by a crew cleaning a beach a few miles east of Neah Bay at the northwest tip of Washington state.

The float traveled faster because it sits on top of the water and caught the wind.

Seattle oceanographers Curtis Ebbesmeyer and Jim Ingraham say it's the first piece of debris that could be identified as washing up on the West Coast from the March 11 tsunami.

The floats have since been found on Vancouver Island.

The two researchers displayed the float Tuesday night in Port Angeles at a presentation at Peninsula College. The Peninsula Daily News reports larger amounts of debris from Japan likely will begin washing ashore in about a year.

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