NOAA: No solid mass of tsunami debris approaching U.S.

In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, Joshua Marvit, of the State of Hawaii Dept. of Health, tests a 16-foot skiff for radiation after the vessel was salvaged by the crew of the F/V Zephyr approximately 800 miles north of Honolulu, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012. The skiff was confirmed to have been debris from the 2011 Japan Tsunami by the Japanese Consulate, after they contacted the owner, through the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and confirmed that they did not seek its return.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric J. Chandler,AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard

Updated 10:10 PM ET

Responding to recent news reports that an island of debris from the 2011 Japan tsunami in the Pacific Ocean that is about the size of Texas is heading straight to the United States, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that it is not the case.

From a post that was published Tuesday, the NOAA's Marine Debris blog clarified: "There is no solid mass of debris from Japan heading to the United States."

It further added: "At this point, nearly three years after the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, whatever debris remains floating is very spread out. It is spread out so much that you could fly a plane over the Pacific Ocean and not see any debris since it is spread over a huge area, and most of the debris is small, hard-to-see objects."

The NOAA acknowledged that while there is still some debris in the sea, it is uncertain of where the debris is located and how much is left since the North Pacific is vast.

"A significant amount of debris has already arrived on U.S. and Canadian shores," it said, "and it will likely continue arriving in the same scattered way over the next several years. As we get further into the fall and winter storm season, NOAA and partners are expecting to see more debris coming ashore in North America, including tsunami debris mixed in with the "normal" marine debris that we see every year."

Back in September 2012, a large plastic bin was the first confirmed piece of marine debris from the Japan tsunamis to arrive in Hawaii, the NOAA had said. Japanese consular officials confirmed that the blue bin found floating in the ocean is from Fukushima, said Ben Sherman, a NOAA spokesman in Washington, D.C. The bin was spotted off Waimanalo, on the southeast coast of Oahu, by Makai Ocean Engineering staff and was retrieved by the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory. Used for transporting seafood, the 4-by-4-foot cube bears the name Y.K. Suisan Co. Ltd., the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said.