PERTH, Australia- Planes and ships resumed the search for wreckage from Flight MH370 Wednesday after weather improved in the treacherous Indian Ocean, as grieving families of those on board demand answers about the ill-fated jet.
Gale force winds, driving rain and mountainous seas prevented any sorties being flown from Perth in Australia’s west on Tuesday, but 12 aircraft will be airborne on Wednesday, with South Korean planes joining the hunt for the first time.
“Today’s search is split into three areas within the same proximity, covering a cumulative 80,000 square kilometres (30,000 square miles),” said the Australian Maritime Safety Authority which is coordinating the operation.
Australian naval vessel the HMAS Success, which was forced to leave the storm-tossed region, has returned and will conduct a surface sweep of a zone where two objects were spotted this week.
China’s polar supply ship Xue Long has also joined the quest to find physical proof that the Malaysia Airlines jet went down in the remote seas, and clues as to why it veered off course and vanished on March 8 with 239 passengers and crew on board.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the search — now in a recovery phase — would continue until there was no hope of finding anything.
“It is not absolutely open-ended but it is not something we will lightly abandon,” he said.
Mark Binskin, vice chief of Australia’s Defence Force, has underscored the daunting size of the area under scrutiny by air crews flying exhausting sorties far from Australia’s west coast.
“We’re not trying to find a needle in a haystack, we’re still trying to define where the haystack is,” he said Tuesday as authorities face the task of retrieving sunken or floating debris, as well as the “black box” flight recorder.