PERTH - Planes and ships were to resume the hunt Friday for wreckage of flight MH370 after the weather cleared, as they chase down more satellite sightings of suspected debris nearly three weeks after the jet crashed.
Sorties being flown by planes from Australia, China, Japan and the United States were forced back to Perth on Thursday as thunderstorms and gale force winds swept through the southern Indian Ocean, although five ships stayed put.
There were fears that the weather would set in, but the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said the search would start again.
"The MH370 search will resume this morning," it tweeted in the increasingly desperate quest to confirm that debris sighted by satellite came from the Malaysia Airlines jet that vanished on March 8 with 239 people on board.
The resumption follows Thailand reporting Thursday a satellite sighting of hundreds of floating objects. Japan also announced a satellite analysis indicated around 10 square floating objects in a similar area, the Kyodo news agency said.
They were the second sightings in two days suggesting a possible debris field from the Boeing 777.
As well as planes from six nations, five ships from China and Australia have joined the search, battling fierce winds and sometimes mountainous seas as they look for hard evidence that the plane crashed, as Malaysia has concluded.
The commanding officer of Australia's HMAS Success, Captain Allison Norris, said she had instituted hourly shift changes to make sure nothing is missed in the vast and remote stretch of ocean notorious for rapidly changing weather conditions.
"Their supervisors remind them of the task and what they're there for and keep them focused," she told the Sydney Morning Herald.
"Morale remains good, despite the cold conditions."
The United States said it was sending a second P-8 Poseidon aircraft to Perth, but would not be dispatching a warship.