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Risky weather conditions could see MH370 search called off

UPDATE 9AM: IT MAY only be a matter of hours before searching for lost Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is called off due to risky weather conditions.

Four Chinese ships are now part of the hunt for debris and wreckage along with the Australian HMAS Success.

Offering air support are two Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orions, a Japanese Gulfstream jet and P-3 Orion and the United States Navy's P-8 Poseidon - a submarine hunting plane.

A further five civilian aircrafts are also expected to join the others is combing huge expanses of ocean.

The Australian coordinators of the search - the Australian Maritime Safety Authority - warned on Thursday morning that "weather in the search area is expected to deteriorate".

Overnight, Malaysian authorities released new satellite images from French firm Airbus which were taken on Sunday.

Analysis by the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency has found up to 122 potential chunks of debris in a 400 sqkm area.

Some of the pieces are up to 23m long and were brightly-coloured which suggests they could be solid.

In a statement, Malaysian authorities "emphasised that we cannot tell whether the potential objects are from MH370".

"Nevertheless, this is another new lead that will help direct the search operation".

6AM: THE flow of information about the lost Malaysia Airlines flight MH370  has slowed to a trickle 20 days after the Beijing-bound flight disappeared after leaving Kuala Lumpur.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority is to continue searching giant swathes of ocean about 2500km south-west of Perth, using seven aircrafts pulled from Australia, New Zealand, the United States, South Korea, China and Japan.

The Australian Navy's HMAS Success and China's polar supply ship Snow Dragon or Xue Long remain in the search zone, scouring for debris at sea level.

The Biloela-raised Rodney Burrows and wife Mary were both aboard the doomed flight.

The two were headed for a three-week holiday in China.

Their children and parents - along with other relatives of the 239 on board - were told by the airline on Monday that their loved ones were likely killed.

On Wednesday, Malaysian authorities published new information about when the flight is expected to have crashed - somewhere between 10am and 11.15am AEST on March 8.

This was the final time there was "partial handshake" between a ground state and the plane.

Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said somewhere between those times, "the aircraft was no longer able to communicate with the ground station".

"This is consistent with the maximum endurance of the aircraft," he said.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott meanwhile said the search would continue until "there is absolutely no hope of finding anything".

"We owe it to people to do everything we can to resolve this riddle," he said.

Topics:  editors picks malaysian airlines mh370 search



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