Search for MH370: 'Most credible lead so far'

New satellite images have identified 122 objects in a 400-square-kilometre area of the Indian Ocean which Malaysian authorities believe are from the missing Malaysian airliner.

Meanwhile, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has tweeted that three objects have been spotted in the search of the southern Indian Ocean.

"3 objects spotted in #MH370 search. Civil a/craft spotted 2 objects-likely rope. NZ P3K-a blue object. None relocated on further passes," AMSA tweeted. "None distinctive of #MH370 or satellite imagery."

The objects seen in imagery from a French satellite are from one metre to 23 metres in length and some appeared to be bright, possibly indicating solid materials, Malaysia's acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday night.

Officials in Kuala Lumpur said the images corroborate other credible leads, raising hopes ships in the area will be able to recovery wreckage that can be identified being from the plane that was carrying 239 people.

"This will enable us to further reduce the search area and locate more debris from the plane," Mr Hishammuddin said.

Twelve planes flew to the area on Wednesday after bad weather had halted the search on Tuesday, three RAAF P3 Orion aircraft and three Australian commercial planes.

Mr Hishammuddin said the discovery is about 2500 kilometres south-west of Perth, in the same area where experts from Australia and China identified other objects from satellite images.

A satellite operated by France's Airbus Defence and Space took the images on March 23.

Since then, storms have lashed the region, curtailing a multi-nation search effort that is now centred on  the area.

"This is clearly the most credible lead we have had so far," Mr Hishammuddin told journalists.

The images have been sent to the Australian Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Perth, which is organising the search by countries including China, Japan and India.

"It must be emphasised that we cannot tell whether the potential objects are from MH370. Nevertheless, this is another new lead that will help direct the search operation," Mr Hishammuddin said.

smh.com.au

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