International rescue teams have resumed their search for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean. Efforts stalled earlier this week due to rough weather conditions, a move which angered relatives of the missing passengers.
Planes and ships were deployed to the southern Indian Ocean once again on Wednesday, following a day-long suspension of rescue efforts for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight. The international team – relying on logistical support from the US, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand – is tasked with searching an area of 1.6 million square kilometers (622,000 square miles), which is roughly the size of Alaska.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott reaffirmed the full commitment of both his government and the governments of Australia’s partners to recovering the Malaysian Airlines flight, which was believed to have crashed some 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles) southwest of Perth.
“We’re throwing everything we have at this search,” Abbott told Australian TV broadcasters on Wednesday.
Even though the weather conditions had calmed enough for search efforts to be resumed, the Australian premier said, it would be no less difficult.
The search zone was “as close to nowhere as it’s possible to be,” he said. “It’s thousands of kilometers from anywhere.”
Earlier this week, Malaysia’s prime minister announced that new satellite data from Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch and Inmarsat had indicated that the flight had almost certainly crashed into the sea.
Chinese officials and relatives of the victims have expressed dissatisfaction at the Malaysian government’s handling of the situation. Two-thirds of the passengers on board MH370 were Chinese nationals. On Tuesday, family members of the missing passengers marched on the Malaysian embassy in Beijing demanding more information. The Chinese government also sent its vice foreign minister, Zhang Yesui, to Kuala Lumpur for more details about the recent satellite information.
Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 disappeared on March 8 while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
kms/mz (AP, AFP)