Mayon volcano remains on alert level 2 since March 2018. (PNA photo)

As Mayon volcano retains its alert level 2 status, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said two solar panels that power equipment to monitor the volcano were stolen by thieves Wednesday night.

The theft of two 150-watt solar panels, which provide power to seismograph and tilt data meter instruments, was found out during a maintenance inspection.

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

Paul Alanis, Phivolcs resident volcanologist, noted that precise data recorded in the monitoring instruments allow scientists to detect earthquakes and rock movements inside the volcano’s vent using the seismograph instruments, while the ground deformations are gauged by the tiltmeter instruments.

“With the loss of the panels, there would be a gap in reading the data or signals provided by the instrument,” he said.

Mayon volcano has been on alert status level 2 since March 29, 2018 as the volcano remains to be in a moderate level of unrest. (Jojo Mangahis)