News World Cyclone temporarily halts MH370 search

Cyclone temporarily halts MH370 search

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A cyclone has hindered the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, however if all goes to plan investigators could finish scouring the location by May.

Underwater operations in the Indian Ocean were suspended on Sunday after severe weather conditions associated with Tropical Cyclone Bansi, near Mauritius, preventing search vessels from deploying sonar towfish equipment safely in six-metre-high waves.

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The Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre said on Wednesday that Fugro Equator and Fugro Discovery has since recommenced work, while GO Phoenix was expected to resume in the next day or two.

Fugro Supporter, which recently became the fourth vessel to join the hunt, has completed trials of an autonomous underwater vehicle and is travelling to the search area.

Weather conditions are expected to improve by the end of the week.

About 16,000 square kilometres of the sea floor have been combed, which is about 26 per cent of the priority search area.

“If there are no major delays, investigators could finish scouring the priority zone by May,” JACC said.

MH370, carrying 239 passengers and crew, disappeared on March 8, 2014, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

In early January, the Australian head of the search for missing flight MH370 believed it was very likely the plane will be found, and it should be in good condition despite being underwater for 10 months.

“Our satellite calculations gave us an area we determined was high priority,” ATSB chief commissioner Martin Dolan says.

“In this 60,000 square kilometres, it’s very likely we will find the aircraft, but we don’t know exactly where. We just have to cover that area thoroughly.”

with AAP

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