MANILA, Philippines – The work of state volcanologists watching Mayon Volcano in Albay will be affected after two solar panels were stolen from the government's monitoring station.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said on Thursday morning, February 6, that the solar panels were stolen from the Mayon Resthouse, which hosts instruments such as the Global Positioning System and a tiltmeter, which is used to measure the tilting of the earth's surface.
The two solar panels were 150 watts each.
"With loss of power supply, no data will be transmitted from this station and consequently will affect the monitoring of Mayon Volcano," Phivolcs said.
According to the agency, Mayon Volcano Observatory personnel discovered that the solar panels were gone on Wednesday, February 5, during their routine inspection and preventive maintenance service.
Phivolcs reminded the public that Republic Act No. 10344 or the Risk Reduction and Preparedness Equipment Protection Act penalizes the "stealing, keeping, or tampering of government risk reduction and preparedness equipment."
"Hence, the public is strongly encouraged to help in taking care of our monitoring instruments and to promptly report any untoward incidents," Phivolcs said.
The incident comes as Mayon Volcano remains under Alert Level 2, which means a "moderate level of unrest." It has been at that level since March 29, 2018.
Sudden explosions, lava flows, and ashfall are possible, which is why round-the-clock monitoring is crucial. (LOOK: Mayon Volcano 'crater glow' as it stays under Alert Level 2) – Rappler.com