A sailor aboard Chinese navy's amphibious landing vessel Jinggangshan scans the ocean in search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in southern Indian Ocean on April 8, 2014. Chinese naval vessels on Tuesday expanded the search area in the Indian Ocean for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane in a bid to pick up suspicious pulse signals detected last week. (Xinhua/Bai Ruixue)
ABOARD JINGGANGSHAN, April 8 (Xinhua) -- Chinese naval vessels on Tuesday expanded the search area in the Indian Ocean for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane in a bid to pick up suspicious pulse signals detected last week.
Amid heavy rain and surging waves, Jinggangshan, an amphibious landing vessel, continued a visual lookout and underwater detection in a new target area of 134 square nautical miles (460 square km), located more than 1,000 km off Australia's western coast.
The Chinese naval vessel has sailed about 18,000 km since it started the search mission on March 9.
Two other Chinese ships, Haixun 01 and Donghaijiu 101, also joined the search operation with Jinggangshan on the suspicious spot of 25 degrees south latitude and 101 degrees east longitude, where Haixun 01 detected a pulse signal consistent with flight recorders on Friday.
On Monday night, the Chinese navy's transport dock Kunlunshan and missile destroyer Haikou, steered to another newly-designated area more than 900 nautical miles off Australia's western coast, an area of 11,700 square nautical miles located at about 19 to 22 degrees south and 94 to 97 degrees east.
On Friday, Chinese patrol vessel Haixun 01 detected a pulse signal with a frequency of 37.5 kHz -- the same as those emitted by flight recorders -- in the new search area, and re-detected the pings for 90 seconds on Saturday just 2 km away from the original spot.
However, neither of the signals has been confirmed as related to the missing Boeing 777, said the China Maritime Search and Rescue Center.
Since Flight MH370 disappeared early March 8 with 239 people on board from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, the Chinese navy has dispatched nine ships to waters in the Gulf of Thailand, near Sumatra Island, and in the southern Indian Ocean, scouring areas of around 340,000 square km.
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