Large amounts of possible tsunami debris found on Alaska island

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by GLENN FARLEY / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @GlennFarley

KING5.com

Posted on April 27, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Updated Saturday, Apr 28 at 8:36 AM

A large amount of what could be debris from the March 2011 Japan tsunami was found on the Alaskan islands of Kayak and Montague in recent days. The islands are located just off the southern coast of Alaska, southeast of the town of Cordova.

A pilot who landed his plane on the beach at Kayak Island reported finding large amounts of building insulation, large styofoam blocks and even shoes and slippers scattered over a wide area.

The styrofoam blocks resemble similar material found on the northwest coast of Washington state last weekend during a large-scale beach cleanup.  Earlier this month, the Washington State Dept. of Ecology found metal fuel canisters containing kerosene that officials believe came from Japan.

Recent computer modeling from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that factors in a year's worth of wind and storm data concluded that it is very possible that early waves of tsunami debris are arriving up and down the West Coast.

But only two pieces of debris to date have been conclusively linked to the tsunami -- the so-called ghost ship found a month ago off the coast of British Columbia, and a soccer ball found on an Alaskan island.  The ball had the name of a Japanese coastal school printed on it.  

Huge amounts of debris were pulled out to sea by a series of tsunami waves triggered by the March 11, 2011, tsunami. The waves struck a large portion of Japan's northeast coast, killing thousands of people.

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