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2 solar panels for Mayon Volcano monitoring stolen

MANILA, Philippines — Two 150-watt solar panels, which play vital roles in the monitoring of volcanic and seismic activity in and around Mayon Volcano have been stolen, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said Thursday.

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In a statement, Phivolcs said that the two solar panels at the DOST-Phivolcs Mayon Resthouse were discovered missing by Mayon Volcano Observatory personnel during their routine inspection on Wednesday.

The rest house station, Phivolcs added, hosts instruments for earthquake monitoring, global positioning system (GPS) and tiltmeters to monitor the volcano.

Phivolcs added that due to loss of power supply, no data will be transmitted from the said station, and will consequently affect the monitoring of Mayon Volcano.

“With the loss of the panels, there would be a gap in reading the data or signals provided by the instrument. Bulag tayo (We are blind) to get readings and signals in that location, where the panels were lost,” said Phivolcs resident volcanologist Paul Alanis.

Alanis added that several solar panels and instruments were also lost in the past. He urged villagers to be vigilant in protecting these vital instruments set up in slopes around the volcano.

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Phivolcs warned the public that Republic Act 10344 or the Risk Reduction and Preparedness Equipment Protection Act  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 incident,” Phivolcs added.

Phivolcs earlier reported that a crater glow was spotted in Mayon Volcano’s summit.

Alanis, however, pointed out that the volcano is not acting up due to the faint crater glow.

He said the glow was a remnant of the molten rocks on top of the crater emitted during the 2017 eruption.

GSG
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TAGS: Global Positioning System, Mayon Volcano, Phivolcs, solar panel
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