Prepare to track incoming tsunami objects from your phone

by Andrew Roach on January 3, 2013

Back in March 2011, the world stood on and watched in horror as Japan was hit by one of the worst tsunamis ever recorded. This disaster swept thousands of objects into the Pacific Ocean which were carried out into no man’s land.

However, Vancouver based firm Ocean Networks has developed an app which will allow users to find and identify any pieces of floating debris from the tsunami.

It’s estimated that a million tonnes of damage was swept away into the ocean and headed towards the North American shoreline at some point within the near future.

This is why the Coastbuster app has been developed in conjunction with the University of Victoria who want to track and log what lands on Canadian shores.

Once someone snaps a picture of the item that they have found using the app, the photo is then sent to a database which can then be seen by local authorities and the US Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

It’s hoped that capturing this information will help bring local communities together to help clean up the debris and try and help return any lost items that may have been carried away by the ocean.

This was echoed by Ocean Networks president Kate Moran who told The Canadian Press that “it allows any managers, whether it’s local government, provincial or state government, to actually begin to plan how they’re going to clean it up.”

The launch of Coastbuster comes as experts are predicting floating debris to land on the shoreline in the next few months. So far, there have only been 17 confirmed reports of debris being washed up from the tsunami.

The most notable occasion happened on Vargas Island in Vancouver where a group of researchers found a washed up refrigerator which contained Japanese symbols and writing on its side.

At the moment, the Coastbuster app is only available for free on Android phones although the iPhone version is currently in development but with no set release date.

Even though the Coastbuster app is not going to solve every mystery caused by the 2011 tsunami, it will certainly help Canadian communities pull together and try to help find the story behind mysterious items that are washed up on the shoreline.

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