A teenager who lost his home in Japan’s devastating tsunami now knows that one prized possession survived: a football that drifted all the way to Alaska.
Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say the ball with the youngster’s name inscribed on it is one of the first pieces of debris from last year’s tsunami to wash up on the other side of the Pacific.
A man found the ball while beach-combing on an Alaskan island, and his wife, who is Japanese, talked with its owner, 16-year-old Misaki Murakami, by phone over the weekend. They plan to send the ball back to him soon.
Murakami, from the town of Rikuzentakata, is surprised and thankful the football, or soccer ball, has been found more than 5,000 kilometers (more than 3,000 miles) away.