Alaska Hit By 'Unprecedented' Tsunami Debris

Buoys and other material from Japan show up on Alaska shores
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2012 10:00 AM CDT
Alaska Hit By 'Unprecedented' Tsunami Debris
David and Yumi Baxter hold a soccer ball and volleyball David found in Anchorage, which both floated across the Pacific after last year's tsunami.   (AP Photo/The Baxters via Kyodo News)

(Newser) – Buoys by the hundreds are just part of the "unprecedented" waves of debris washing up on Alaska's shores. Montague Island, located some 120 miles southeast of Anchorage, has lately seen a steady stream of buoys, styrofoam, and other items that have made their way across the Pacific, likely in the wake of Japan's March 2011 tsunami, the Telegraph reports.

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Debris from Pacific tsunamis has been showing up in Alaska for years, so while experts concede that it's tough to pinpoint last year's event as the source, the sheer volume is a pretty sure indicator. "We have never seen the amount we see now," says a rep from the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. "In the past we would find a few dozen large black buoys, used in Japanese aquaculture, on an outside beach cleanup. Now we see hundreds." A 12-day cleanup will begin tomorrow. (Read more Japanese tsunami stories.)

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