Thieves attack Phivolcs observatory station in Albay; solar panels stolen anew
LEGAZPI CITY – Thieves have stolen two solar panels from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) observatory station in Guinobatan town in Albay province.
Eduardo Laguerta, Phivolcs resident volcanologist here, said the solar panels power an equipment vital in measuring sulfur dioxide emission in the air.
Laguerta said he has reported the incident to the Guinobatan police on Thursday after Phivolcs personnel discovered that the solar panels kept in Barangay (village) Masarawag were missing.
This was the second time that thieves took solar panels since Mount Mayon’s eruption this year, he said.
Last January, thieves also stole a solar panel and two deep cycle batteries from another station in Barangay Lidong in Sto. Domingo town.
He said the solar panels in Guinobatan may have been lost between Sept. 17 last year to May 8 this year where the last data transmission was recorded.
“The recorded data is our basis in determining whether magma is developing and making its way up to the volcano’s summit, especially now that the volcano is still exhibiting crater glow,” he said.