Multinational search teams have resumed the hunt for the wreckage from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 after weather conditions improved over the southern part of the Indian Ocean.
A total of 12 planes and two ships from Australia, New Zealand, the United States, China, Japan and South Korea were participating in Wednesday's search, hoping to find even a single piece of the Malaysia Airlines plane that could offer tangible evidence of a crash.
"Today's search is split into three areas within the same proximity, covering a cumulative 80,000 square kilometres," said the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), which is coordinating Wednesday's operation.
AMSA said four Chinese ships had reached the search area.
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While the most recent data has vastly shrunk the search zone it remains large, at an estimated 1.6 million square kilometres.
"This is about the most inaccessible spot imaginable. It's thousands of kilometres from anywhere," Tony Abbott, the Australian prime minister, said.
David Ferreira, an oceanographer at the University of Reading in Britain, said little was known about the detailed topography of the seabed where the plane was believed to have crashed.
"We know much more about the surface of the moon than we do about the ocean floor in that part of the Indian Ocean,'' Ferreira told the Associated Press.
Malaysia announced earlier this week that a mathematical analysis of the final known satellite signals from the plane had proven beyond doubt it gone down in the sea, taking the lives of all 239 people on board.
China had criticised the announcement for coming to the conclusion without having found any physical evidence of the plane's remains.
Many passengers' families also believe that the Malaysian officials have not been transparent or swift in communicating information with them about the status of the search of the ill-fated flight.
Source: Associated Press