Theft of solar panels hampers monitoring of Mayon

IT MAY may be harder for the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) to transmit data on the restive Mayon Volcano to its observatory station in Legazpi City, Albay after two 150-watt solar panels were stolen from the agency.

The solar panels, which are used to power earthquake monitoring systems, were reported missing by a Mayon volcano personnel after a routine inspection.

"With loss of power supply, no data will be transmitted from this station and consequently will affect the monitoring of Mayon Volcano," Phivolcs said in a statement on Thursday, February 6, 2020.

The agency noted that the law prohibits "unauthorized taking, stealing, keeping, or tampering of government risk reduction and preparedness equipment, accessories and similar facilities.”

The agency urged the public to help take care of monitoring instruments and to immediately report any untoward incidents.

Mayon volcano remains under Alert Level 2, or a "moderate level of unrest.” (Jove Moya/SunStar Philippines)