AGATE BEACH – A chunk of concrete and steel that washed ashore Tuesday on this central Oregon coastal beach has been confirmed as a floating dock swept off the coast of Japan by last year’s devastating tsunami.
It is the first confirmed landing of tsunami debris on the Oregon coast. Scientists and governments have been tracking debris in the 15 months since the disaster, and expecting items to begin making landfall on the West Coast this summer.
According to The Oregonian, a plaque on the 66-foot-long section of debris helped the Japanese Consulate in Portland identify it as a dock cut loose in Misawa, a northern Japanese city struck by the powerful tsunami waves on March 11, 2011.
“It’s one of four floating docks washed away by the tsunami, which means there are three more floating somewhere possibly,” said Hirofumi Murabayashi, deputy consul general. “In Oregon this is the first item obviously from the tsunami.”
The consul has turned the matter over to the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation, which has jurisdiction over the beach, to determine what to do about the chunk of debris, which measures 66 feet long by 19 feet wide by 7 feet tall.