Weather conditions in the search area are deteriorating, and a cyclone warning has been issued
Sunday, March 23, 2014, 6:28 PM -
The search continues for Malaysia airlines Flight 370.
More planes were joining the search Sunday of a remote patch of the southern Indian Ocean in hopes of finding answers to the fate of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, after China released a satellite image showing a large object floating in the search zone.
Six planes left a base near Perth on the four-hour journey to the search region, The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said. Two more will fly out later. The HMAS Success, an Australian navy supply ship, is also taking part.
A cold front was forecast to move through the region later Sunday, which could bring clouds and wind, further hampering efforts to locate the plane. Weather conditions in the area are deteriorating, and a cyclone warning has been issued.
"Crews searching for debris may find it hard to spot objects floating due to the large waves created by the cyclone," said Weather Network Meteorologist Brian Dillon. "With the search area being so far off the Australian coastline, strong winds are therefore effecting plane reconnaissance."
The area where the objects were first identified by the Australian authorities is marked by strong currents and rough seas, and the ocean depth varies between 1,150 metres and 7,000 metres.
Malaysian authorities have not ruled out any possible explanation for what happened to the jet, but have said the evidence so far suggests it was deliberately turned back across Malaysia to the Strait of Malacca, with its communications systems disabled. They are unsure what happened next.
With files from The Associated Press