Bad weather has forced the suspension of the search for debris from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Heavy rain, gale force winds and low cloud made a search impracticable, said the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is coordinating the search in the southern Indian Ocean.

Air and searches could resume on Wednesday.

Planes from five nations trawling a Lithuania-sized patch of ocean midway between Australia and Antarctica have spotted objects they are trying to locate in the 68,500 sqkm area, 2,500 kilometres south-west of Perth.

So far none of the objects spotted has been located.

The latest sightings — “a grey or green circular object and the second an orange rectangular object” — were spotted on Monday from an Australian Orion maritime surveillance plane.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said in its latest statement that all of the various sightings had been in the search area.

The area was plotted using computer modelling of where the plane would have run out of fuel if, as the Malaysians now believe, it flew south after doubling back during a March 8 flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

The US Navy, which has a surface-skimming P8 Poseidon, described as the world’s most sophisticated maritime patrol aircraft, in the search fleet, is deploying a special undersea device to help find the black box of the lost Boeing 777-200.

The towed pinger locator can identify the characteristic “ping” emitted by the flight recorder from an ocean depth of more than 6,000 metres, the US Defence Department said.

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