Huge Dock Washed Ashore on Oregon Coast is Debris from Japan’s Tsunami

Japanese officials have confirmed that a huge dock that washed ashore on the Oregon coast is debris from last year’s tsunami – the first to reach the state from last year’s disaster in Japan.

Disposing of the dock washed up on Agate Beach could be a challenge, because its concrete exterior conceals high-tensile steel cables, said Hirofumi Murabayashi, deputy consul general at the Japanese Consulate in Portland. But the chief engineer of the Tokyo company that made the dock said later that dismantling it won’t be dangerous.

The tsunami cut the dock loose in Misawa, a northern Japanese city struck by powerful waves on March 11, 2011, Murabayashi told The Oregonian on Wednesday.

“It’s one of four floating docks washed away by the tsunami, which means there are three more floating somewhere possibly,” Murabayashi said. “In Oregon this is the first item obviously from the tsunami.”

Japanese officials in Seattle forwarded information on a plaque attached to the dock to Japan’s Foreign Ministry in Tokyo. From that information, officials determined the dock is owned by Aomori prefecture, the northernmost state on Japan’s main island of Honshu.

Oregon officials didn’t know until the Portland consulate confirmed the information Wednesday that the dock on Agate Beach, a mile north of Newport, Ore., came from Japan and was broken loose by the tsunami.

“The owner is Aomori prefecture, but they do not wish to have it returned,” Murabayashi said. He said he had conveyed the information about the dock to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, which is handling the matter.

Courtesy of www.oregonlive.com

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