Solar panels at Mayon stolen

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    TWO solar panels installed by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) at Mayon Volcano in Albay were stolen, compromising the agency’s monitoring of the volcano’s activity.

    Phivolcs said the 150-watt panels were installed at the Mayon rest house station that hosts instruments for earthquake monitoring, global positioning system, and tiltmeter.

    Phivolcs said the theft was discovered by personnel of the Mayon Volcano Observatory on Wednesday during a routine inspection and preventive maintenance.

    It was also on Wednesday when Phivolcs reported it has monitored crater glow at Mayor over the past couple of days.

    “With loss of power supply, no data will be transmitted from this station and consequently will affect the monitoring of Mayon Volcano,” Phivolcs said.

    Phivolcs said Republic Act 10344 or the Risk Reduction and Preparedness Equipment Protection Act of 2012 penalizes the “unauthorized taking, stealing, keeping, or tampering of government risk reduction and preparedness equipment, accessories and similar facilities.”

    “Hence, the public is strongly encouraged to help in taking care of our monitoring instruments and to promptly report any untoward incidents,” Phivolcs said.

    Phivolcs, in a bulletin issued at 8 a.m. yesterday, said Mayon Volcano’s seismic monitoring network “did not detect any volcanic earthquake during the 24-hour observation period.”

    The last time the network recorded a volcanic quake at Mayon this month was last Monday.

    Alert level 2 remains at Mayon Volcano, meaning the volcano “is at a moderate level of unrest.”

    “DOST-PHIVOLCS reminds the public that sudden explosions, lava collapses, pyroclastic density currents or PDCs and ashfall can still occur and threaten areas in the upper to middle slopes of Mayon,” it said.

    On Wednesday afternoon, Phivolcs reported it has monitored crater glow at Mayor over the past couple of days.