As alert level goes up, PHIVOLCS’ Mayon Volcano monitoring equipment gets stolen

The people of Albay should really know better, but it would appear that one of them (or maybe a few) has stolen two solar panels used as power sources for instruments monitoring the Mayon Volcano, which has become increasingly restive in the past few days.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) announced on its Facebook page this morning that the panels were taken from the DOST-PHIVOLCS Mayon Resthouse station, where their other equipment is kept. Its team noticed that the solar panels had vanished during a routine inspection on Feb. 5. With the panels gone, PHIVOLCS said that they will no longer have any power supply in the area, therefore “no data will be transmitted from this station and consequently will affect the monitoring of Mayon Volcano.”

PHIVOLCS reminded the public that stealing such equipment is a violation of Republic Act 10344 or the Risk Reduction and Preparedness Equipment Protection Act of 2012. It encouraged the public “to help in taking care of our monitoring instruments and to promptly report any untoward incidents.”

Meanwhile, an Alert Level 2 has been raised over Mayon, which means that it is currently having a moderate level of unrest. In a bulletin released this morning, PHIVOLCS said that residents can expect “sudden explosions, lava collapses, pyroclastic density currents or PDCs and ashfall” to occur in the upper to middle slopes of the volcano.

Yesterday, a crater glow was witnessed at the site, which the agency said is an indication that “remnant magma” is rising up Mayon, which last erupted in 2018.


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