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Search for missing Malaysian aircraft continues despite challenging weather

Editor: Ren Zhongxi 丨Xinhua

04-24-2014 09:13 BJT

Full coverage: Malaysia Airlines Plane Bound for Beijing Goes Missing

PERTH, Australia, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Visual search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 continues on Thursday in spite of the weather forecast of heavy rain and low cloud in the area more than 1,500 kilometers off Perth.

Meanwhile, the Joint Agency Coordination Center (JACC) reported in its daily press release that Bluefin-21 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle has completed more than 90 percent of the focused underwater search area and no contacts of interest have been found to date.

The focused underwater search area is defined as a circle of 10 km radius around the second Towed Pinger Locator detection which occurred on April 8.

JACC said that up to 11 military aircraft and 11 ships are planned to assist in Thursday's visual search in an area of about 49,567 square kilometers, the center of which lies approximately 1, 584 kilometers north west of Perth.

JACC said prior to the commencement of the day's air search operations, an assessment of current weather conditions will be made as ex-Tropical Cyclone Jack moves south.

The Chinese Air Force IL-76 aircraft took off at 6:45 local time (22:45 GMT) from Perth International Airport, the first of all aircraft for the search. The duration of the operation will depend on the weather conditions in the area 1,515 kilometers off Perth.

According to JACC, the search area is expected to experience south easterly winds of up to 35 knots, sea swells of three to four meters and visibility of one kilometer.

The aerial search has been twice suspended this week due to bad weather caused by ex-Tropical Cyclone Jack that moved south into the area.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has advised that after examining detailed photographs of material washed ashore 10 kilometers east of Augusta, it is satisfied that the material is not a lead in relation to the search for missing flight MH370.

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