Taro Nishijima / Daily Yomiuri / February 14, 2012 /

LOS ANGELES–The impending arrival of debris swept into the Pacific after the tsunami following the Great East Japan Earthquake has many residents of the West Coast of the United States and Hawaii on their toes.

Using their own model, oceanologist Curtis Ebbesmeyer and others in December predicted how drifting objects taken out to sea may have been dispersing.

They said if the objects were lightweight and in shapes easily borne by wind and waves, some items may have already arrived on U.S. shores, a view that has drawn the attention of people in Washington State and other places on the northwestern Pacific Coast.

In Hawaii, there are growing calls among the public to quickly prepare for large amounts of debris that are expected to arrive sooner or later.

“In Hawaii, our environment is particularly fragile, with the biggest part of our economy dependent on tourists visiting our beautiful beaches,” said Tulsi Gabbard, a member of the Honolulu City Council on Oahu Island.

“We cannot afford to react to this event–we must take action now to raise awareness, and work together to prepare how we can prevent this debris from hitting our shores, affecting our community and impacting our economy,” she added.

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