Sunday, May 14, 1972
Hanoi Evacuated, Diplomat Reports
The source, who travels regularly from Saigon to Hanoi, said the evacuation of the North Vietnamese capital was obviously well-planned and orderly.
It began with the first U.S. air strikes on the city April 16 and "the streets are now deserted except for old men and critical government employes," (sic) the source said.
Diplomats from Poland, Canada and India travel between the two Vietnams as members of the International Control Commission which is charged with maintaining peace in Indochina.
The diplomat said he saw a children's hospital in Hanoi that had been hit by American bombers early this month, despite the fact a large red cross was painted on the roof. He said he saw "up to 10" dead children in the rubble.
The evacuation of Hanoi was carried out by government vehicles, which moved the population to the countryside, he said.
"The people know where to go. There are signs telling those from each part of the city which area they will go to," he said.
Whole city wards are being reestablished in the countryside, the diplomat said.
Schools, now closed, for the summer vacation, will be reopened at new areas outside Hanoi, he said.
The evacuation is the second from the North Vietnamese capital since the Vietnam war began. U.S. air strikes from 1965 to 1968 forced the civilian population out of most of the cities.
The U.S. command has announced two bombing raids on Hanoi in retaliation for the Communist offensive launched March 30. Radio Hanoi has announced several others, including a series of raids Thursday.
"Hanoi Evacuated, Diplomat Reports", by (UPI), published in the Pacific Stars and Stripes Sunday, May 14, 1972 and reprinted from European and Pacific Stars and Stripes, a Department of Defense publication copyright, 2002 European and Pacific Stars and Stripes.
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