KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — As frustration was setting in, calmer seas returned today and the search for the remains of Flight 370 began anew in remote waters of the Indian Ocean off western Australia.
Gale-force winds that forced an all-day delay Tuesday died down, allowing a total of 12 planes and two ships from the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand to resume the hunt for any pieces of the Malaysia Airlines jet — tangible evidence for the families seeking closure after more than two weeks of anguished uncertainty.
A day earlier, angry relatives shouted “Liars!” in the streets of Beijing about Malaysia’s declaration that the plane went down with all aboard.
Although officials sharply narrowed the search zone based on the last satellite signals received from the Boeing 777, it was still estimated at 622,000 square miles, an area bigger than Texas and Oklahoma combined.
“We’re not searching for a needle in a haystack — we’re still trying to define where the haystack is,” Australia’s deputy defense chief, Air Marshal Mark Binskin, told reporters Tuesday at a military base in the Australian west coast city of Perth as idle planes stood behind him.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which coordinates the search on Malaysia’s behalf, said today’s search will focus on 30,900 square miles of ocean. The search area is about 1,550 miles southwest of Perth.
Malaysia announced Monday that an analysis of satellite data received after Flight 370 left Kuala Lumpur for Beijing on March 8 indicated the plane had gone down in the Indian Ocean, killing all 239 people aboard.
The finding did not answer troubling questions about why the plane was so far off-course, and China, home to 153 of the passengers, demanded that Malaysia turn over the satellite data used to determine the plane’s fate.
The airline’s chairman, Mohammed Nor Mohammed Yusof, said it may take time for further answers to become clear.