Maldives and Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370
The Maldives, known to the locals in their native language (Dhivehi) as Dhivehi Raajje, are an archipelago of 1,192 coral islands grouped into 26 natural coral atolls in the Indian Ocean. They lie south-southwest of India and west of Sri Lanka. None of the coral islands measures more than 1.8 metres above sea level.
Only 192 islands are inhabited by its 300,000 inhabitants. The rest of the islands remain virgin islands except for more than 100 islands that have been developed for the top end of the tourist market.
After Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 went missing on Saturday, 8 March 2014, some residents of Kudahuvadhoo in Dhaal atoll in the Maldives reported seeing a low flying aircraft heading in a south-easterly direction in the morning of March 8, which led to speculation that it could have been the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.
On Wednesday, 19 March 2014 Hishammuddin Hussein, Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport Malaysia stated that:-
Regarding reports that the plane was sighted in the Maldives, I can confirm that the Malaysian Chief of the Defence Force has contacted his counterpart in the Maldives, who has confirmed that these reports are not true.
That could have been the end of the matter except that time passed with no evidence of MH370 from any of the search areas. It was not until a Flaperon from the Boeing 777 was found on La Reunion Island on 29 July 2015 that there was any tangible proof that flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean. Debris from the aircraft has been transported by currents in the Indian Ocean and recovered from Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, La Réunion Island, South Africa and Tanzania.
Many people still believe that MH370 flew over the Maldives, possibly on a route to Diego Garcia which is further south.
Day 11 Tuesday, 18 March 2014
- Maldives island residents report sighting of 'low flying jet' (Haveeru Online)
- Kudahuvadhoo islanders spotted low-flying mystery aircraft in hours after MH370 disappearance (Minivan News)
Day 12 Wednesday, 19 March 2014
- MH370 sightings in Maldives are not true, reports Malaysian Defence Minister (Minivan News)