Search for MH370 race vs time, elements

Posted at 03/26/2014 2:25 AM

MANILA – The search for the wreckage of the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is a race against time and the elements, a journalist said Tuesday.

CNN correspondent Andrew Stevens, in an interview on ANC Prime Time, described the search being undertaken by the Australian Armed Forces and the Chinese delegation, among others, as "very frustrating and challenging."

He said the head of the Australian Armed Forces described the search as not just looking for a needle in a haystack.

“We haven’t even found the haystack yet,” the official told Stevens.

According to Stevens, the search was suspended Tuesday because of bad weather, but will resume on Wednesday.

"They will continue to do it until they get some confirmation one way or the other," he said. "What is so critical now is to actually get visual sightings so they can confirm once and for all whether any of the debris spotted in recent days actually is linked to MH370."

Stevens said two debris fields of interest were found by Chinese and Australian forces.

The Australian Air Force, he said, dropped flares near one debris field that had a green or gray circular object and an orange rectangular object.

"There was actually an Australian navy ship in the area, but they could not relocate the wreckage," Stevens said.

Stevens said the search will be focused on the far southern area.

He also said search vessels and aircraft are bringing modern equipment to help find the plane.

The search will continue indefinitely, he said, citing Australian officials.

Stevens said it is important to find the plane not just to give peace of mind to the families of passengers, but to find out what happened to the plane.

"Did something happen on that plane? Some mechanical failure that needed to be rectified? There is a safety issue which affects virtually everyone that flies here, so it’s critical to find the plane so they would know what happened," Stevens said.