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Pieces of driftwood floating to Okinawa

Date Posted: 2005-01-20

Large chunks of driftwood are being found along Okinawa’s Yaeyama coastal areas.

The first driftwood was spotted last week outside Ishigaki Island, and more is now being seen as far north as Miyako Island. Officials say they’re not sure yet exactly how many pieces of wood are floating into the fishing and shipping lanes, but note they’re receiving many reports.

The Coast Guard is studying the reports, and thinks the wood could be floating north as a result of the December 26th earthquake and tsunami that struck the Indian Ocean. They say it’s “Only a guess” right now, but are concerned they find out. The two-meter-long pieces of wood are directly in ferry transit routes.

Officials are warning “Please be careful. It’s dangerous. Don’t get into any accidents, so watch carefully for wood ahead of your boats. It’s still floating free.” They add that anyone finding driftwood should immediately contact the Coast Guard Office.

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