SAINT-DENIS, Reunion — Several days of high winds will whip across the Indian Ocean island where a suspected MH370 wing component was found, raising the prospect that more debris could be washed ashore.
Gales were blowing across the French territory of Reunion on Monday, churning the tropical waters and smashing the coastline with giant waves.
Winds of up to 35mph blew in from the east — the same prevailing wind direction that is thought to have pushed ashore a seven-foot fragment from a Boeing 777 on Wednesday.
Forensic tests on the wing component, known as a flaperon, were due to begin Wednesday in Toulouse, France, under the supervision of judicial officials.
“There is a front near the island, an upper-level disturbance that will keep those winds and rain showers going for several days,” said Frank Giannasca, senior meteorologist at the The Weather Channel. “That is typical of the wind direction in the area and will push things along the ocean surface."
Hundreds of items of ocean debris can be found on the Reunion shoreline — metal fragments, sections of tire, bottles and cans — most of it from commercial ships. That has posed a challenge for authorities in separating potentially significant clues from ordinary junk.
On Sunday, a metal fragment spotted on a stony beach near the capital, Saint Denis, was removed by Gendarmes in a sealed box, but Malaysian officials dismissed it as a part of a domestic ladder.
Government officials were making no comment on any of the discoveries, referring all questions to international investigators.