MH370 search zone shifted northeast based on ′credible lead′ | News | DW | 28.03.2014
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MH370 search zone shifted northeast based on 'credible lead'

Planes and ships searching for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 have shifted their search corridor 1,100 kilometers to the northeast. The revised zone is based on a 'credible new lead,' according to Australian authorities.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said on Friday that radar data indicates MH370 was travelling faster than previously estimated, which means it likely ran out of fuel earlier and did not fly as a far as originally believed.

As a consequence, AMSA has revised the search to a zone 1,100 kilometers (680 miles) northeast of where ships and aircraft had been looking for the missing plane in the southern Indian Ocean. The new lead comes a day after Thai and Japanese satellites spotted debris in the ocean, although it's not clear exactly where relative to the new search zone.

"This is a credible new lead and will be thoroughly investigated today," Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said.

The new search zone is located 1,850 kilometers west of the Australian city of Perth. According to Australian authorities, weather conditions are better in the new search zone. Ten aircraft - from Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and the US - have been deployed to follow up the new lead, after the search was cut short on Thursday due to severe weather conditions.

The Boeing 777 went missing on March 8th en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.

"This is an extraordinarily difficult search and an agonizing wait for family and friends of the passengers and crew," Abbott said. "We owe it to them to follow every credible lead and to keep the public informed of significant new developments. That is what we are doing."

slk/av (AP, AFP)