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Flight 370: Bad weather halts search for wreckage

March 25, 2014 14:30 IST

The multinational search for the Malaysian jet's debris was today suspended due to bad weather in southern Indian Ocean, a day after it was announced that the missing plane had crashed in the remote area.

Australian Maritime Safety Authority, leading the search operation, said its hunt for any signs of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has been suspended for Tuesday due to poor weather conditions.

The area, 2,500 kilometres southwest of Perth, experienced strong gale force winds of up to 80 km/h, periods of heavy rain, and low cloud with a ceiling between 200 and 500 feet, hampering recovery operations, it said in a statement.

"Due to rough seas, HMAS Success departed the search area early this morning and is now in transit south of the search area until seas abate.

"A sea state ranging between 7 to 8 is forecast today with waves up to two metres and an associated swell of up to four metres," the statement said.

AMSA has undertaken a risk assessment and determined that the current weather conditions would make any air and sea search activities hazardous and pose a risk to crew following which it has suspended all sea and air search operations for today due to these weather conditions, the statement said.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced Monday night that the missing jet had crashed in remote southern Indian Ocean with no survivors.

"With deep sadness and regret I must inform you that, according to new (satellite) data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean," Najib said, 17 days after the jet vanished mysteriously.

Australian Defence David Johnston said there was no success in recovering any debris of the missing jet and the incident remained a mystery.

"This is an extremely remote part of the world. It's a massive logistical exercise. To this point of time we have not recovered any debris from the aircraft in question," he said.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said it has been a "desperately difficult time for thousands and thousands of people right around the globe, particularly in China as well as in Malaysia" and said the grieving relatives of the victims are welcome to visit the country.

Image: Hand-written notes on how a crew member should report the sighting of debris in the southern Indian Ocean is pictured on a window aboard a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft searching for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370

Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters

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