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2 solar panels used in monitoring Mt. Mayon stolen

LEGAZPI CITY — Two solar panels of the power supply that provides power to ScanDoas (scanning differential absorption spectroscopy), an equipment of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), was stolen by still unidentified robbers, a Phivolcs official said on Thursday.

Eduardo Laguerta, Phivolcs resident volcanologist said in an interview the incident has been reported to the Guinobatan police station after the agency field personnel discovered that the solar panels of the ScanDous equipment were missing.

Laguerta said this was the second time that thieves took the solar panels of the ScanDoas equipment since Mount Mayon erupted this year — the first incident was in Barangay Lidong in Sto. Domingo town, while the second in Barangay Masarawag in Guinobatan.

He suspected that the solar panels were lost between September 17 last year to May 8 this year when the last data transmission was recorded.

The equipment is vital in measuring sulfur dioxide emission, Laguerta said.

“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 added.

“The equipment would not be operational without the solar panels as this provides power to the ScanDous,” he said. Mar Serrano/PNA-northboundasia.com

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