BACOLOD CITY: Cadiz City Mayor Salvador Escalante has ordered the temporary closure of the Kabilang-Bilangan Reef in Barangay Sicaba on Monday, August 29, after strong currents claimed the lives of four persons including two minors on Sunday.

"Starting today, we will try to close the facility until further notice or until such time we can introduce appropriate safety measures," Escalante said.

Escalante said the city government has been planning to regulate visits to the Kabilang-Bilangan Reef, considering that a lot of people have been coming late to the area, which is just near the mainland of northern Negros city.

The city government, he said, will put up a 15-foot observation tower on the reef to shelter fisherfolk in times when the current and wind is strong.

He also said that sudden strong currents are a normal occurrence as Cadiz City is a coastal locality facing the Visayan Sea. Escalante warned visitors to be always alert to strong currents which usually occur during high tides.

Get the latest news
delivered to your inbox
Sign up for The Manila Times’ daily newsletters
By signing up with an email address, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

He also assured that the city government will shoulder the cost of embalming the fatalities and provide one sack of rice and grocery packs to the bereaved families.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Northern Negros Occidental said that they will hold the boat operator liable for the drowning incident that took place on August 28. Cdr. Joe Luviz Mercurio, PCG-Northern Negros Occidental station chief, said they are already investigating the incident.