by Staff Writers
Tokyo (UPI) Jun 21, 2011
Officials of tsunami-prone areas of Japan say they need a clear definition of the height of "the largest possible tsunami" predicted by a government panel.
Local administrators have asked the country's central government for clarification of the maximum height of the largest possible tsunami cited by an expert panel of the Central Disaster Management Council, The Yomiuri Shimbun reported Tuesday.
The council, in analyzing the March 11 earthquake and subsequent tsunami, warned of the possibility of a "gigantic" tsunami up to two times the size of what was previously believed to be the largest possible tsunami.
The panel is urging the central and local governments to work out measures that can deal with "the largest scientifically possible tsunami."
The Nagoya municipal government says it is concerned about what would happen if earthquakes in several of Japan's seismically active regions were to occur in conjunction.
"We want the central government to present its estimate of tsunami size soon so that we can reinforce wave barriers and reexamine hazard maps," a city official said.
earlier related report
The 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami created an estimated 25 million tonnes of waste, "countless quantities" of which swept out to sea when the wave receded, Robin des Bois (Robin Hood) said.
The debris includes dense forms as diverse as planes, ships, cars and chemical tanks, which after sinking will become an inshore hazard for trawlers and the environment by leaking oil, fuel and industrial fluids, it said.
Thick mats of floating wood and plastic will take between one and two years to cross the Pacific and then split into two large patches, the group said in a report dated May 31.
One will head northwards parallel to the eastern Pacific coast, drifting on the Alaskan Current.
The other will head southwards, floating on the California Current.
Part of this southerly debris will split off, joining a gentle vortex of well-documented waste in the eastern Pacific that is called the Eastern Garbage Patch.
The rest of the southern branch will then head back across the Pacific under the North Equatorial Current, which will take it to the so-called Western Garbage Patch.
"The entire voyage around the North Pacific could take around 10 years," Robin des Bois said.
It pointed to many hazards for the environment, including the breakup of plastic into tiny particles called "plastic plankton" which accumulates in the food chain.
In March, a computer model devised by researchers at the International Pacific Research Center at the University of Hawaii predicted Hawaiian beaches would see the first pieces of debris washing up around a year after the disaster.
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Japan marks three months since tsunami with protests
Tokyo (AFP) June 11, 2011
Thousands of people staged anti-nuclear rallies in Japan Saturday as the country marked three months since its massive quake and tsunami which resulted in the world's worst nuclear accident in 25 years. Radiation continued to leak from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, some 220 kilometres (140 miles) northeast of the capital, amid simmering public frustration over the gover ... read more
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