News / Asia

Underwater Drone Scans Ocean Floor for Missing Malaysian Jet

  • A woman walks past graffiti of Flight MH370 in Kuala Lumpur, April 15, 2014.
  • Crew aboard the Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield move the U.S. Navy's Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle into position in the southern Indian Ocean to look for Flight MH370, April 14, 2014. (US NAVY)
  • Co-pilot and Squadron Leader Brett McKenzie looks from the cockpit of a Royal New Zealand Air Force aircraft as they fly over the southern Indian Ocean, to continue the search for Flight MH370, April 13, 2014.
  • The Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Perth is guided into position by a Royal New Zealand Air Force aircraft as the search continues for Flight MH370, April 13, 2014.
  • People take part in a special prayer for passengers onboard Flight MH370, at Kechara retreat center in Bentong, outside Kuala Lumpur, April 13, 2014.
  • A Naval aircrewman unloads a Sonobuoy from a rack onboard a P-8A Poseidon during a search mission to locate Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean, in this U.S. Navy handout photo taken April 10, 2014.
  • The daughter of a Chinese passenger on Flight MH370 shows her mobile phone displaying a photo of her father, near the wall displaying messages of wishes for the passengers at a hotel in Beijing, April 11, 2014.
  • Relatives of passengers on Flight MH370 wait for news outside a conference room at a hotel in Beijing, April 8, 2014.
The Search for Flight MH370
VOA News
A deep-sea drone completed its much-anticipated first full scan of the seabed in the remote Indian Ocean, the team looking for a missing Malaysian jetliner said on Thursday, as an air and surface search became less likely to yield results.

Footage from a U.S. Navy deep-sea drone is fast becoming the most important tool for a multinational team searching for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared from radar screens on March 8 with 239 people aboard.

A sample taken from an oil slick in the same area, some 2,000 km (1,240 miles) west of the Australian city of Perth, was determined not to be related to the plane. Authorities believe the area where the oil slick was found is most likely where the missing jet hit the ocean after disappearing.

A series of "pings'' recorded this month have led searchers
 to the remote stretch of ocean in the belief that the signals may have come from the plane's black box recorders.

However, with no pings received in more than a week and the black box's battery now 10 days past its approximate expiry date, authorities are relying on the drone.

Earlier, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told the Wall Street Journal if the so-called Bluefin-21 submarine does not find any wreckage by then, authorities will stop, regroup, and reconsider how to proceed.

The Australian agency coordinating the search said Thursday the vehicle completed its first full 16-hour mission after two previous missions were cut short because of technical problems.

The Bluefin-21 has so far searched 90 square kilometers of the ocean bed, but authorities say they have found "no significant detection" in the sonar data collected.

U.S. Navy officials had previously warned it could take up to two months for the submarine to scan the current 600-square kilometer search area.

Meanwhile, 12 aircraft and 11 ships were involved Thursday in the search for floating debris from the missing Boeing 777. Australian officials have warned this effort will soon be called off, since no debris has been found since the plane went missing more than five weeks ago

It is unclear how authorities will proceed if the surface search is called off and the robotic submarine does not locate any underwater wreckage.

It has been more than a week since authorities last detected a signal they believe came from a locator beacon on the plane's flight data recorder. The recorder's batteries are now presumed to have run out of power.

The "black box" signals helped narrow the search area considerably. But search crews are still dealing with a target area more that 40,000 kilometers in size.

The Malaysia Airlines jet, carrying 239 people, vanished while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Malaysian officials think the plane was intentionally diverted. But they have refused to rule out other possibilities, including a massive mechanical malfunction.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP .

You May Like

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs