At the height of North Vietnam's rainy season work is continuing around the clock to repair the vast network of dikes which are being damaged, it's claimed, by the U.
At the height of North Vietnam's rainy season work is continuing around the clock to repair the vast network of dikes which are being damaged, it's claimed, by the U.S. bombing.
The vast network of dikes -- the Red River dikes extend sixteen-hundred miles -- has to be constantly strengthened and raised in height as the rushing floodwater deposit tons of silt on the River beds.
Hanoi has repeatedly accused the United States of deliberately bombing the dikes. The allegations have been supported by some foreign observers in Hanoi.
The United States steadfastly denies that any dams have been bomb targets and accuses North Vietnam of waging a propaganda campaign to cover up its own deficiencies in keeping the dikes under repair.
Whatever the cause of damage, the North has mobilised a large army of civilians for the repair work, as seen in this official film. Thousands of peasants are working against the clock as the rainy season swells the river systems flow, by up to forty times the rate during the dry season.
SYNOPSIS: Floods swirl across large tracts of North Vietnam at the height of the rainy season. And as the river systems continue to swell, work continues around the clock to repair the vast network of dikes which Hanoi claims are being damaged by U.S. bombing. Hanoi has repeatedly accused the United States of deliberately bombing the dikes allegations which have been supported by some foreign observers.
This is the TO HAM area of North Vietnam - about seventy kilometres south-east of HANOI. Hundreds of workers -- many of them women -- have been mobilised to repair the dikes as the nearby Tay Binh River continues to rise. As the Rivers crest late in the Vietnamese summer, only the dikes protect the millions of people, living well below the water level, from disaster. These dikes are reported to have been damaged by bombs on July the seventh, and again on July the twenty-third. The repair work is laborious.
The use of bulldozers emphasises the importance which the North places on dike repairs. This kind of heavy equipment is not readily available. And while the work goes on, the North Vietnamese take no chances. Militiamen stand watch around the clock, on the alert for United States 'planes, as the wrangle of words between HANOI and Washington continues.
The latest rounds in the verbal war were fired by Senator Edward Kennedy when he accused the Nixon administration of a policy of deliberately bombing North Vietnamese dikes. Republican Senator Hugh Scott branded the charges as "an enemy lie".