JAKARTA: Countries around Asia on Tuesday stepped up the search for an AirAsia plane carrying 162 people that is presumed to have crashed in shallow waters off Indonesian coast, with Washington also sending a warship to help find the missing jet.
Soelistyo, head of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency, told local television the search area between the islands of Sumatra and Borneo would be expanded. Authorities would also begin scouring nearby islands as well as coastal land on Indonesia’s side of Borneo.
So far the focus of the search has been the Java Sea. There have been no confirmed signs of wreckage from the Airbus A320-200 operated by Indonesia AirAsia, which disappeared in poor weather on Sunday morning during a flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore.
The missing plane, which was carrying mainly Indonesians, could be at the bottom of the sea, Soelistyo said on Monday. The Java Sea is relatively shallow, making it easier to spot
wreckage in the water, say oceanographers, but strong currents and winds in the area mean any debris would be drifting up to 50 km (31 miles) a day east, away from the impact zone.