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Relatives of Flight 370 victims protest in China

  • Malaysia-Plane-78

    A family member of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane reacts while watching a live broadcast of a press conference by Malaysian acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein on the latest developments in the search for flight MH370, at a hotel in Putrajaya, Malaysia, Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Malaysia said Tuesday that it had shifted the search are for a downed jetliner to an area in the southern Indian Ocean, while Australia said improved weather would allow a hunt for possible debris from the plane to resume. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)

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    Suwarni the mother of Sugianto Lo, who was onboard the Malaysia Airlines plane MH370 with his wife Vinny, shows her son's family portraits at her residence in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Tuesday, March 25, 2014. After 17 days of desperation and doubt over the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, the country's officials said an analysis of satellite data points to a "heartbreaking" conclusion: Flight 370 met its end in the southern reaches of the Indian Ocean, and none of those aboard survived. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)

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  • Indonesia-Malaysia-Plane-7

    Suwarni the mother of Sugianto Lo, who was onboard the Malaysia Airlines plane MH370 with his wife Vinny, weeps as an unidentified relative makes a phone call at her residence in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Tuesday, March 25, 2014. After 17 days of desperation and doubt over the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, the country's officials said an analysis of satellite data points to a "heartbreaking" conclusion: Flight 370 met its end in the southern reaches of the Indian Ocean, and none of those aboard survived. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Australia-Malaysia-Plane-24

    A Royal Australia Air Force AP-3C Orion runs its engines for maintenance during a no fly day in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in Perth, Australia, Tuesday, March 25, 2014. All search and rescue flights were canceled Tuesday due to bad wether in the search area.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

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  • Malaysia-Plane-79

    Malaysia's acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein answers a reporter's questions during a press conference for the missing Malaysia Airline, flight MH370, at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, March 25, 2014. China demanded that Malaysia turn over the satellite data used to conclude that a Malaysia Airlines jetliner had crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, killing everyone on board, as gale-force winds and heavy rain on Tuesday halted the search for remains of the plane. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

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  • China-Malaysia-Plane-44

    A relative of Chinese passengers on board a missing Malaysia Airlines plane breaks down as she protests outside the Malaysia Embassy in Beijing, China, Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Furious over Malaysia's handling of the lost jetliner a day after the country said the passengers must be dead, Chinese relatives of the missing marched Tuesday to the Malaysia Embassy, where they threw plastic water bottles, tried to rush the gate and chanted, "Liars!" (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

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  • China-Malaysia-Plane-45

    Relatives of Chinese passengers onboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 cry as they protest outside the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing, China, Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Furious over Malaysia's handling of the lost jetliner a day after the country said the passengers must be dead, Chinese relatives of the missing marched Tuesday to the Malaysia Embassy, where they threw plastic water bottles, tried to rush the gate and chanted, "Liars!" (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

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  • Australia-Malaysia-Plane-25

    A ground crew works on a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion on the tarmac in Perth, Australia, Tuesday, March 25, 2014. All search and rescue flights for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 were canceled for Tuesday due to bad wether in the search area. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

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  • Australia-Malaysia-Plane-26

    A Malaysia Airlines plane, foreground, prepares to go out onto the runway and passes by a stationary Chinese Ilyushin 76 aircraft at Perth International Airport in Perth, Australia, Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Malaysia said Tuesday that it has narrowed the search for a downed jetliner to an area the size of Texas and Oklahoma in the southern Indian Ocean, while Australia said improved weather would allow the hunt for possible debris from the plane to resume. (AP Photo/Greg Wood, Pool)

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  • China-Malaysia-Plane-46

    Chinese relatives of Chinese passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, flight MH370, scuffle with police officers outside the Malaysia embassy in Beijing, China, Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Furious over Malaysia's handling of the lost jetliner a day after the country said the passengers must be dead, Chinese relatives of the missing marched Tuesday to the Malaysia Embassy, where they threw plastic water bottles, tried to rush the gate and chanted, "Liars!" (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • China-Malaysia-Plane-47

    Chinese relatives of passengers onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, flight MH370, shout in protest as they march towards the Malaysia embassy in Beijing, China, Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Furious over Malaysia's handling of the lost jetliner a day after the country said the passengers must be dead, Chinese relatives of the missing marched Tuesday to the Malaysia Embassy, where they threw plastic water bottles, tried to rush the gate and chanted, "Liars!" The blue placard reads: "We won't leave or ditch you, we will wait right here."(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

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 today 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 1.6 million square kilometers (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 today 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 Wednesday’s search will focus on 80,000 square kilometers (30,900 square miles) of ocean. The search area is about 2,500 kilometers (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.

“The investigation still underway may yet prove to be even longer and more complex than it has been since March 8th,” he said.

The search for the wreckage and the plane’s flight data and cockpit voice recorders could take years because the ocean can extend to up to 7,000 meters (23,000 feet) deep in some parts. It took two years to find the black box from an Air France jet that went down in the Atlantic Ocean on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in 2009, and searchers knew within days where the crash site was.

There is a race against the clock to find Flight 370’s black boxes, whose battery-powered “pinger” could stop sending signals within two weeks. The batteries are designed to last at least a month.

David Ferreira, an oceanographer at the University of Reading in Britain, said little is known about the detailed topography of the seabed where Malaysia Flight 370 is believed to have crashed.

“We know much more about the surface of the moon than we do about the ocean floor in that part of the Indian Ocean,” Ferreira said.

Searching for a needle in a haystack would be simple by comparison, he said.

“This haystack is in the dark, two or three miles underwater, hundreds of miles from land, and in a field no one has even seen before, let alone mapped,” Ferreira added.

The satellite information does not provide an exact location — only a rough estimate of where the jet went down.

Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the data is still being analyzed “to attempt to determine the final position of the aircraft” and that an international working group of satellite and aircraft performance experts had been set up.

Monday’s announcement that there were no survivors unleashed sorrow and anger among the victims’ families, who have complained bitterly about a lack of reliable information from Malaysian officials.

Nearly 100 relatives and their supporters marched today to the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing, where they threw plastic water bottles, tried to rush the gate and chanted, “Liars!”

Many wore white T-shirts that read “Let’s pray for MH370.” They held banners and shouted, “Tell the truth! Return our relatives!”

Police briefly scuffled with a group of relatives who tried to approach journalists. The relatives demanded to see the Malaysian ambassador, and they later met with him.

In a clear statement of support for the families, Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered a special envoy, Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui, to Kuala Lumpur to deal with the case. Deputy Foreign Minister Xie Hangsheng told Malaysia’s ambassador that China wanted to know exactly what led Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to announce that the plane had been lost, a statement on the ministry’s website said.

The conclusions were based on an analysis of the brief signals the plane sent every hour to a satellite belonging to Inmarsat, a British company, even after other communication systems on the jetliner shut down for unknown reasons.

Yusof, the airline’s chairman, said the conclusion was based on “the evidence given to us, and by rational deduction.”

Investigators will be looking at various possibilities, including mechanical or electrical failure, hijacking, sabotage, terrorism or issues related to the mental health of the pilots or someone else on board.

“We do not know why. We do not know how. We do not know how the terrible tragedy happened,” Malaysia Airlines’ chief executive, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, told reporters.

Australian and Chinese search planes spotted floating objects southwest of Perth on Monday, but none was retrieved. With the 24-hour delay in the search, those objects and other possible debris from the plane could drift to an even wider area.

There are 26 countries involved in the search, and Hishammudin said the problems are not diplomatic “but technical and logistical.”

“We’ve got to get lucky,” said John Goglia, a former member of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board. “It’s a race to get to the area in time to catch the black box pinger while it’s still working.”

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