"Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished mysteriously about an hour after taking off for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur shortly after midnight March 8."
Canberra, June 26 - Australian, Malaysian and Chinese authorities Thursday announced a new search area to hunt for the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 which went missing March 8, Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) said Thursday.
An expert satellite working group has reviewed all existing information in order to define a search zone of up to 60,000 sq km along the arc in the southern Indian Ocean, the JACC said in a press statement.
Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said that the latest search area refinement involved efforts and expertise of specialists from around the world.
Specialists have analysed satellite communications information which were never initially intended to have the capability to track an aircraft and have performed extremely complex calculations, Truss said.
The new priority area is still focused on the seventh arc, where the aircraft last communicated with satellite. We are now shifting our attention to an area further south along the arc based on these calculations.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) will also release a report with details regarding the new search area, Truss added.
A bathymetric survey or mapping of the ocean floor still continues in the search area.
The bathymetric survey has already commenced, with the Chinese survey ship Zhu Kezhen and the Australian-contracted vessel Fugro Equator conducting operations in the areas provided by the ATB, Truss said.
It will take around three months to complete the bathymetric survey.
A new underwater search is expected to begin in August and would probably take up to 12 months to be completed.
Australia, Malaysia and China have reaffirmed their commitment to continue to search for MH370 and to keep families informed of developments.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished mysteriously about an hour after taking off for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur shortly after midnight March 8.
The Boeing 777-200ER was scheduled to land in Beijing the same morning. The 227 passengers on board included five Indians, 154 Chinese and 38 Malaysians.