Family and friends are comforting former New Zealand woman
Danica Weeks after she received news that the Malaysian
Airlines flight carrying her husband Paul had been confirmed
lost in the Indian Ocean west of Perth.
Mrs Weeks is with the couple's two young sons in the family
home in Perth's northern suburbs, about 15 minutes drive from
RAAF Base Pearce where planes looking for any signs of Flight
MH370 have been taking off and landing over the past week.
Mrs Weeks' mother, Kay Thompson, said her daughter was too
distraught to talk about the official announcement that the
plane had crashed.
"You can imagine how we feel," Ms Thompson said.
"We have been waiting for two weeks and I guess everyone
hoped for something better than this. But that is the way it
is and we are all dreadfully sad."
Ms Thompson had travelled from her Sunshine Coast home and
she said her daughter's friends from New Zealand and
Mandurah, south of Perth, were also helping her and helping
look after the boys, Lincoln, 3, and 11-month-old Jack.
"We're a small family unit. They've only been living here for
about two-and-a-half years," Ms Thompson said.
"I'm sorry, that's all I can say for now."
The Weeks had moved to Perth from Christchurch after the 2011
Mr Weeks, a mechanical engineer, had boarded the Malaysian
Airlines Boeing 777 on his way to start a new job in
He was one of two New Zealanders on the flight. The family of
Ximin Wang, 50, of Auckland, have asked for privacy.
Earlier today, the hunt for flight 370 has been called off
for the day due to bad weather.
In a statement the Australian Maritime Safety Authority
(AMSA) said the search area was forecast to experience strong
gale force winds of up to 80km/h, periods of heavy rain, and
low cloud with a ceiling between 200 and 500 feet.
It said that could make for hazardous conditions for search
AMSA has consulted with the Bureau of Meteorology and weather
conditions are expected to improve in the search area in the
evening and over the next few days. Search operations are
expected to resume tomorrow, if weather conditions
Teams searching for wreckage from missing flight MH370 are
expected to pinpoint objects spotted by an Australian crew,
as new satellite analysis confirmed the Malaysia Airlines
plane had plunged into the southern Indian Ocean.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak told a press conference
in Kuala Lumpur late last night that new data showed the
plane, carrying 239 people, had crashed into the ocean west
of Perth after going missing more than two weeks ago.
"Based on new analysis we have concluded [the jet] flew along
southern corridor and that its last position was in the
middle of Indian Ocean west of Perth.
"This is a remote location far from any possible landing
"It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must
inform that in accordance with this new data Flight MH370
ended in the southern Indian Ocean."
Mr Najib said he had been briefed by representatives from the
UK Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB), which informed
him that satellite data from the UK company Inmarsat, using
techniques "never before used in an investigation of this
sort", revealed the final position of the plane.
The International search effort was expected today to zero in
on an area where two objects had been sighted by an
Australian crew the day before.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott told parliament yesterday evening
that a Royal Australian Air Force P3 Orion had located two
objects, a grey or green circular object and an orange
The HMAS Success is in the area, about 2500km southwest of
Perth, and attempting to recover the objects.
A US Navy P8 Poseidon, a second RAAF Orion and a Japanese
Orion are also en route to try to find the items.
Malaysian authorities say the objects could be retrieved "by
(Tuesday) morning at the latest''.
The most recent sightings have followed suspected plane
debris being picked up by Australian, Chinese and French
Flight 370 vanished on March 8 just an hour into its journey
from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, carrying 239 people, including
six Australians and two New Zealanders.
How relatives were told
Relatives of passengers and crew have been told of the
"heartbreaking'' news that flight went down in southern
Moments before the Prime Minister's press conference,
officials from Malaysia Airlines sent an SMS text message to
the families of the passengers on board when the plane was
lost which said: "We must now accept all evidence suggests
the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean".
"Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume
beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that
none of those on board survived," the message read.
"Malaysia Airlines has already spoken to the family of the
passengers and crew to inform them of this development," Mr
"For them the past few weeks have been heartbreaking. I know
this news must be hard as well."
Bad weather to hamper search
Earlier, the Malaysia transport minister, Hishammuddin
Hussein, said an Australian naval ship could locate possible
debris within hours.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (Amsa) confirmed
that the HMAS Success had made its way out to the remote
search area some 2,500km from Perth, and that the objects
were seen within the stretch of water being scoured today.
"HMAS Success is on scene and is attempting to locate and
recover these objects," Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott
said in a statement to parliament.
However, New Zealand Air Force Air Commodore Mike Yardley
said bad weather could significantly hamper those efforts.
The weather system approaching the search area will bring
"significantly" bad weather, he told TV3's Firstline this
"We've got a bad front coming through with north-west gales
as I understand, so the sea state is going to rise and that
means it'll be very difficult conditions today for our visual
look-outs and also challenging for our radar," he said.
"I understand in fact that the weather might be so difficult
the Australian authorities are now telling us that they don't
think [HMAS] Success will now be in a position to collect any
of this debris even if we find it."
So far, ships in the search effort have been unable to locate
several "suspicious" objects spotted by satellites in grainy
images or by fast-flying aircraft over a vast search area in
the remote southern Indian Ocean.
Earlier yesterday spotters on a Chinese plane said they had
seen two white, square-shaped objects in the southern Indian
Ocean, at that stage the second possible sighting of plane
debris made with the naked eye in the search for the missing
Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777.
Spotters aboard that search plane reported the coordinates to
a Chinese icebreaker ship, Xue Long, which was making its way
to the area - as well as to the central Australian command
In addition to the two larger floating objects, the searchers
also reported seeing a range of smaller, white debris
scattered over several square miles, according to China's
Xinhua news agency.
The sightings were all made in the area identified in
previous satellite images from Australia and China.
The developments came as the US prepared to send a
specialised device that can locate black boxes into the
- additional reporting AAP