KUALA LUMPUR: The harsh winter in the Southern Indian ocean is likely to disrupt the two-year search operation for the vanished Malaysia Airlines MH370 jetliner.
Australia’s Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) said as winter had set in, the height of waves in the search area were expected to peak at 12 metres and winds, up to about 50 knots.
“Search operations are likely to be disrupted, but will resume as weather permits,” said the agency in a statement on Wednesday.
Flight MH370, with 239 people on board disappeared from the radar during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014.
Currently, search efforts are conducted in the southern Indian Ocean where the doomed jetliner was said to have ended its journey.
To date, JACC said the search for the missing aircraft had so far covered more than 105,000 square kilometres of the seafloor.
Currently, three ships, namely Fugro Discovery, Fugro Equator and Dong Hai Jiu 101 are scouring the search area in the ocean.
The agency said poor weather conditions prompted the crew of Fugro Discovery to recover the deep tow vehicle and go to weather avoidance on May 8.
It was expected to depart for Fremantle port, Australia later today, while Fugro Equator departed Fremantle for the search area on May 6, but poor weather had slowed transit to the search area.
“Dong Hai Jiu 101 completed testing of the SLH-ProSAS-60 deep tow system and departed for the search area on May 10,” said JACC.