Agencies plan for tsunami debris heading our way

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SEATTLE - Representatives of local, state and federal agencies in Western Washington are meeting Wednesday to discuss how to handle tons of debris heading toward our shores from the Japanese tsunami.

 

The bulk of the debris may be north of the main Hawaiian Islands and east of Midway Atoll.

 

Agencies meeting in Ocean Shores plan to draft a plan to address off-shore and beach response, debris cleanup and community education.

 

A local oceanographer said human remains could wash ashore.

 

"The highest probability of finding remains are probably in shoes," said Curtis Ebbesmeyer.

 

Anyone who finds remains should call 911 and wait for the coroner or medical examiner, said KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Bob Robuck.

 

"I'm hoping the 5,000 that are missing, that the Japanese have DNA from those 5,000 people so if we do find something we can send a DNA specimen and they can immediately run a comparison," Ebbesmeyer said.

 

About 50 people are expected to be at the meeting, including tribal and local governments as well as people from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and emergency management agencies.