Phivolcs to replace solar panels stolen from monitoring station

- The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) on Thursday said it will replace the stolen solar panels in Mayon Rest House Station as it appealed to local residents to help them protect remote stations used in monitoring volcanoes.

In an advisory, Phivolcs announced that its personnel discovered two solar panels (150 watts each) were stolen from Mayon Rest House Station on Wednesday.

The station hosts instruments for earthquake monitoring, global positioning system (GPS), and a tiltmeter.

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

Phivolcs executive director Renato Solidum Jr. said the Mayon Rest House Station, located in the northwestern slope of Mayon, is a remote station with the highest elevation.

"It is a very important station since it is the station with the highest elevation, and would track magma at the upper part of the volcano edifice better," Solidum said in a message.

He added that Phivolcs has other stations used to monitor the volcano, thus enabling it to produce a bulletin on Thursday despite a station's power loss.

"Self-contained power supply like batteries to run the sensors and send data are better in remote stations. We usually have stations in remote areas, away from traffic. Typically, these areas have no electricity," he added.

Solidum said Phivolcs has spare solar panels it could use in the Mayon Rest House Station.

"We request the public to help protect our stations," he added.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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