MELBOURNE, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Sunday that small pieces of debris were spotted in the southern Indian Ocean, but he added cautiously that it was too early to confirm their linkage to the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight.
Abbott announced the latest update on the ongoing search before leaving Papua New Guinea Sunday morning.
"Yesterday, one of our civilian search aircraft got visuals of a number of objects in a fairly small area in the overall Australian search zone," he told reporters.
He said that a wooden pallet was among the spotted items.
In the meantime, he warned that it was too early to draw too firm a conclusion.
"Obviously before we can be too specific about what it might be, we need to recover this material. It's still too early to be definite," he said.
The prime minister also mentioned that on Sunday, four more aircraft, two from China and two from Japan, will join the search.
Regarding the new satellite imagery released Saturday by China, he said that it suggests at least one large object.
He said that there is increasing hope that the authorities might solve the mystery of the missing aircraft.
Search for missing Malaysian airliner focuses on Chinese satellite photos
CANBERRA, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Australia's maritime search and rescue agency was recalibrating the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 Sunday according to the possible identification of wreckage in Chinese satellite photos.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said in a statement that it had plotted the position of the object in the Chinese photos and it had fallen within Saturday's search area although it was not sighted then. Full story
Interview: Search for missing Malaysian flight MH370 enters race against time: Australian expert
CANBERRA, March 22 (Xinhua) -- The chances of finding the traces of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean southwest of Australia are diminishing by the day, an Australian expert said Saturday.
As the search entered its third week, bad weather was closing in on the search band threatening to erase any possibility of finding the object spotted in a satellite photograph from March 16, said Dr John Blaxland, senior fellow at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre of the Australian National University in Canberra. Full story