PHU QUOC ISLAND, Vietnam, March 13 -- The tranquil island of Phu Quoc, 40 km west of Ha Tien, Vietnam, has been shrouded in an unusual anxious atmosphere in the past few days, as it has become a command center of search and rescue for a missing Malaysia Airlines passenger jet.
Its was reported that the plane that suddenly vanished from radar early Saturday might have crashed into the waters near the island. Reporters from China, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam and Western countries have been thronging into this tiny island since Sunday.
Almost six days on, there is still no trace of the plane.
The island's air traffic control center has been transformed into a command post, where Vietnamese officials give daily press briefings. The briefings, however, became less attractive to reporters as days of search has achieved virtually nothing.
Some journalists began to consider moving to other spots, and others are busy contacting their headquarters to consult for next steps.
However, they returned to the command center after Vietnam sent another plane to scour the suspected area again, hoping for the best.
Deputy Commander of Vietnamese Navy Le Minh Thanh announced Wednesday to suspend some search operations after reports of debris found in the Straits of Malacca.
Later they were quick to assure that no such reduction of search operations would take place as it would be unfair to distraught families waiting for news of their loved ones.
Thanh told journalists that the Vietnamese government was doing everything in their power to find any clue to the whereabouts of the missing plane flying from the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people onboard.
"There has been no change in the search. Search parties continue to sweep the western shore off the Phu Quoc Island and the eastern areas off the Vietnam coast but no sign of debris or any other indication of the plane has been found," he said.
As chances of a miracle dies away, the reporters are hoping for at least meaningful news about the ill-fated flight.