The mysterious, missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 likely crashed off the coast of Australia or hundreds of miles to the north, researchers in Italy said. The potential crash area overlaps with the underwater zone that investigators are now scouring for hunks of metal debris. Search efforts have so far failed to reveal why and where the airliner wrecked more than two years ago, taking with it 239 passengers and crew members. SEE ALSO: It's MH370: Debris found on island is from the missing plane “The disappearance of flight MH370 is probably one of the most bizarre events in modern history,” Eric Jansen, a researcher at the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change in Italy and lead author of Wednesday’s study, said in a statement. The study, published in the European journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, arrives at a crucial time in the search for MH370. Malaysian, Australian and Chinese authorities last week agreed to suspend their quest if their current search efforts — in a 120,000-square-kilometer (46,300-square-mile) swath near Australia’s western coast — fail to turn up “credible new evidence” about the aircraft’s exact whereabouts. Search teams already trawled some 110,000 square kilometers of ocean floor without finding any promising clues about the location of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 that disappeared on March 8, 2014. Current MH370 search zone. Image: Australian Transport Safety Bureau Speaking to Mashable, Jansen said his research team determined the aircraft may have wrecked in the northern part of the current search zone. If the main wreckage isn’t there, however, it could be in an area around 500 kilometers (311 miles) to the north, the simulations suggested. The researchers based their predictions on the five sites where debris from MH370 have already appeared, on the shores of eastern Africa and Indian Ocean islands. A stabilizer panel found in Mozambique, shown with stencil and fastener comparisons Image: Australian Transport Safety Bureau The team then combined a series of simulations to determine where the plane may have crashed, and where more pieces of wreckage could appear, based on ocean currents and wind patterns after the crash. Other chunks of aircraft will likely wash up near Tanzania and Mozambique, along with the islands of Madagascar, Réunion, Mauritius and the Comoros, according to the study. That debris “can also contain vital clues” about the disappearance of MH370, Jansen said in a phone interview. “People should be on the look-out.” MH370 debris location and most likely origin, compared to current underwater search area. Image: Jansen et al., Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci (2016) Another piece of aircraft washed up on the shores of Pemba Island, near Tanzania, in late June. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau, which is leading the search for MH370, said Australian and Malaysian investigators are now working to determine if the recovered wing flap was part of MH370.
The jackpot amount has now rolled over 22 times since it was reset to its starting sum of $40 million for a drawing on May 11, lottery officials said. The Wednesday draw comes about 2-1/2 months after a $429.6 million winning Powerball ticket was sold in New Jersey and two weeks after a $540 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot was clinched in Indiana. The largest all-time lottery prize offered in North America was a Powerball jackpot worth nearly $1.6 billion for winning tickets sold in California, Tennessee and Florida in January of this year.