2 solar panels vital for monitoring Mt. Mayon’s sulfur emission robbed

Published May 31, 2018, 8:44 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Niño Luces

LEGAZPI CITY, Albay – Two solar panels that supply power to Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) monitoring equipment were stolen by unidentified suspects, Ed Laguerta told the Manila Bulletin on Thursday.

He said that the 2 solar panels were part of the power supply of ScanDoas ( Scanning Differential Absorption Spectroscopy) installed inside Masarawag Elementary School in Guinobatan town, Albay province was discovered missing on Thursday.

Laguerta explained that the stolen panels were vital in monitoring sulfur emission especially that Mayon is still in an abnormal stage.

“Importante sa measurement ng sulfur dioxide na basis kung may bagong magma na umaakyat lalo na ngayon na may banaag o glow na kita sa crater ng Mayon. Stationary po ito at halos continuous measurement ang ginagawa nito lalo na Northeast pa ang wind direction or amihan,” Laguerta said.

Laguerta said that the last data transmission was recorded last May 8, 2018, and believed to be stolen on May 9, and onwards.

“Yung solar panels produces 100 watts with approximate cost of P15,000 yung dalawa,” he added.

Last January, solar panels, and batteries were also stolen in another Phivolcs station in Brgy. Lidong, Sto. Domingo town. The panels also supply power to equipment used in monitoring sulfur dioxide emissions of Mt. Mayon.

On February this year, two battery packs and 2 solar panels in hydrology monitoring station, located in Brgy. Padang, Legazpi City was also discovered missing and believed to be stolen by thieves.