Editor's note: The Associated Press is citing an unnamed US official as saying the debris found on an island in the Indian Ocean belongs to same type of aircraft as the missing Malaysia plane MH370. We're watching for more. - Tom
Eric Chesneau, with the air transport police of the French Indian Ocean territory, on speculation about the debris found on Reunion Island. 'People are getting ahead of themselves over this. It is more than likely plane debris, (but) we don't know what exact part it may be' - @Reuters
Editor's note: The search for MH370, said to be the most expensive in aviation history, has focused on the southern Indian Ocean west of Australia. It has been coordinated by an agency of the Australian government. - Tom
Editor's note: Numerous tweets are noting the discovery of airline debris off the coast of La Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean and speculating about a possible link to the missing Malaysia jet MH370. Jon Ostrower, the Wall Street Journal’s aerospace reporter, says the debris appears to be an airline flap. - Tom
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded by Asia—including India, after which the ocean is named—on the north, on the west by Africa, on the east by Australia, and on the south by the Southern Ocean (or, depending on definition, by Antarctica).
As one component of the World Ocean, the Indian Ocean is delineated from the Atlantic Ocean by the 20° east meridian running south from Cape Agulhas, and from the Pacific Ocean by the meridian of 146°55' east. The northernmost extent of the Indian Ocean is approximately 30° north in the Persian Gulf. The ocean is nearly 10,000 km (6200 mi) wide at the southern tips of Africa and Australia, and its area is 73,556,000 km² (28,350,000 mi²), including the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.
The Indian Ocean's volume is estimated to be 292,131,000 km³ (70,086,000 mi³). Small islands dot the continental rims. Island nations within the ocean are Madagascar (the world's fourth largest island), Bahrain, Comoros, Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles and Sri Lanka. The archipelago of Indonesia and the island nation of Timor-Leste border the ocean on the east.