Almost a year ago, Japan was hit by a tsunami resulting from a 9.0 magnitude earthquake. A year onwards, while Japan has still not come out of it completely, they have made more than adequate efforts to rebuild.
The tsunami claimed more than 16 thousand lives and destroyed acres upon acres of land and infrastructure, including Japan’s nuclear power plant in the Miyagi prefecture. The returning water of the Tsunami managed to wash out tons and tons of debris to the sea. The heaviest of the lot sank to the bottom, while the rest stayed afloat and added to the already polluted seas surrounding the Fukushima nuclear plant.
That floating debris is still out there and it is on the move – towards North America and Hawaii. Experts say it will take a year or more for that mass of waste to reach the North American and Hawaiian shores, but once there it can create an environmental havoc. Not only that, it keeps adding to the environmental disaster on the way.
A video by Al-Jazeera showed the deterioration of wastes out at sea – which is massive. What does not wash ashore, either gets sunk to the bottom or over time breaks down to little bits that can be swallowed by marine life and be harmful not only to them but to the subsequent food chain as well. Add to that the fear of contamination from Japan’s nuclear reactor the threat multiplies many folds. The massive expanse of floating debris is hence being diligently observed and followed. No one knows for sure how much of the debris will actually wash ashore but there is talk of containing it off shore somehow and even salvaging anything that can be and returning to Japan.
How it will be done, however, is a question that is keeping the scientists and marine biologists busy.