Australia's search area for MH370 could be narrowed following Reunion debris discovery

Updated: 2015-08-04 11:02


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Australia's search area for MH370 could be narrowed following Reunion debris discovery

The Bluefin-21 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle is craned over the side of the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield in the southern Indian Ocean during the continuing search for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 in this picture released by the Australian Defence Force, April 17, 2014.[Photo/Agencies]

CANBERRA - The government body coordinating Australia's search efforts for missing jetliner MH370 has said new evidence could narrow down the search area for the wreckage.

Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Center (JACC) confirmed that Australia remains committed to the search for the missing Boeing 777, nearly 18 months after it went missing in March 2014.

A spokesperson for the JACC told Xinhua on Tuesday that debris that washed up on Reunion last week was currently being analyzed by French authorities, and any information would help refine the search area, which currently covers a 120,000 square-kilometer strip in the southern Indian Ocean.

The spokesperson said if the wreckage was confirmed to be from MH370 they could use oceanographer's models to narrow down the areas being searched.

"Any new information that comes to hand that might help refine the search area will be incorporated into search planning," the spokesperson told Xinhua.

"(But) all information is analyzed to further inform ongoing search efforts."

Last week, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization oceanographer Dr David Griffin told Xinhua the new debris being found on Reunion was the best indication the jet crashed in Australia's search area.

"The Indian Ocean has a generally eastward movement in the south, south of Perth, but then it goes westward north of tropical Australia," he told Xinhua.

"So where we think the plane went down, we think debris would have initially gone northward (along the coast of Australia) before being caught in the westward current.

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