PERTH: The ensuing search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner, which has entered the 45th day, is becoming more difficult with the approaching Tropical Cyclone Jack in the remote Indian Ocean off here.
The Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC), which is overseeing the search operation, said the weather in the search area was forecast to deteriorate later Monday, particularly in the northern sector, as Tropical Cyclone Jack continues its track southwards.
It said the forecast also indicated widespread showers were developing with isolated thunderstorms to the north and east.
Despite the inclement weather, the search operation is continuing with ten military aircraft and 11 ships scouring the area, the agency said in a statement.
"The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has planned a visual search area totalling approximately 49,491 square km with its centre lies approximately 1,741 km north west of Perth," the agency said.
Flight MH370, with 239 people aboard, left the KL International Airport at 12.41 am on March 8 and vanished from radar screens about an hour later while over the South China Sea. It was to have arrived in Beijing at 6.30 am on the same day.
After an analysis of satellite data indicated that the plane's last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth, Australia, Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced on March 24 that Flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean. - Bernama