Search for Missing Malaysia Airlines Plane Shifts Northeast

PHOTO: Satellite images released March 27, 2014 by Thailands Geo Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency show hundreds of objects floating in the southern Indian Ocean, officials said.
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The search area for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 will shift about 683 miles northeast of the previous search area, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said today.

New information from Malaysian officials led to the change, according to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. The new search area is roughly 1,149 miles west of Perth.

Further analysis of radar data between the South China Sea and the Strait of Malacca - before radar contact was lost - revealed that the plane was traveling faster than previously estimated, resulting in it burning more fuel and shortening the distance it could have traveled south into the Indian Ocean, said Australian officials, calling it "the most credible lead to where debris may be located."

Weather in the area has improved after hampering search efforts earlier in the day.

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New satellite images also emerged showing about 300 new objects floating nearby in the previous search area, officials said.

Anond Snidvongs, director of Thailand's space technology development agency, said Thursday the images showed "300 objects of various sizes" in the southern Indian Ocean about 1,675 miles southwest of Perth, Australia.

He said the images were taken by the Thaichote satellite on Monday, took two days to process and were relayed to Malaysian authorities on Wednesday.

Anond said the objects were about 125 miles from the area where a French satellite on Sunday spotted 122 objects.

So far, no objects connected to the missing plane have been recovered.

Search crews are racing to find the plane's black boxes, whose battery-powered "pinger" could stop sending signals within weeks.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was carrying 239 people when it disappeared on March 8, more than two weeks ago.

Relatives of the plane's passengers remain devastated by the situation. Malaysia officials met with relatives for three hours Wednesday, with another meeting occurring Thursday, officials said in a news release.

"Malaysia is working hard to try and make the briefings to the Chines relatives in Beijing more productive," Malaysia officials said in the statement. "Malaysian officials met with His Excellency Huang Huikang, China’s Ambassador to Malaysia, to request the government of China to engage and clarify the actual situation to the affected families, in particular, and the Chinese public, in general."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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