Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Tropical Cyclone Jack Forces End To Day's Aerial Search While Underwater Drone Is Set To Complete Ninth Search Run

 @arjunkashyapa.kashyap@ibtimes.com on April 22 2014 12:31 AM
MH370Press Conference_Apr21
A relative of five passengers who were on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 cries before she speaks to Malaysian representatives during a briefing at Lido Hotel in Beijing on April 21, 2014. Reuters/Jason Lee

Tropical Cyclone Jack created inclement weather in the search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 forcing authorities to call off an aerial search for the plane while 10 ships in the area would continue looking for the missing plane, Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Centre said in a statement Tuesday, adding that an underwater drone was on its way to finishing a ninth mission.

"It has been determined that the current weather conditions are resulting in heavy seas and poor visibility, and would make any air search activities ineffective and potentially hazardous," the JACC statement said.

In an earlier statement Tuesday, JACC had announced that 10 military planes and 10 ships would assist in the day's search for the missing jet, which disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

According to a statement issued earlier on Tuesday, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority had planned a visual search area of nearly 31,000 square miles in an area of the ocean about 980 miles northwest of Perth. 

"Bluefin-21 AUV is currently completing mission nine in the underwater search area. Bluefin-21 has searched approximately two thirds of the focused underwater search area to date. No contacts of interest have been found to date," the statement added, referring to the U.S. Navy underwater drone that is searching the depths of the southern Indian Ocean for signs of the plane, which authorities believe may have crashed in the region.

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