Ministry assigns urgent tasks to protect Quang Tri tunnels
In a decision issued late last week, the ministry assigns Quang Tri province’s Relics Preservation Institute to be the major unit, in coordination with the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Centre for Relics and Landscape Conservation, to implement the task this year.
Two national historical relics of Vinh Moc Tunnel in Vinh Thach commune and Vinh Linh Tunnel in Vinh Linh district, which were used as guerrilla warfare against the American air war of destruction against North Vietnam between 1965 and 1972, are the targeted environmental protection sites.
They are recognised as unique historical and cultural relics with great educational values and symbols of strong will and patriotism against foreign invasion.
The tasks also include assessing the effectiveness of the model and proposing solutions for the implementation to contribute to preserving a sustainable tourism development for the province.
The specific subjects of the tasks are the natural and socio-cultural environment, preserving and promoting historical values and related socio-economic development conditions at the sites and highlighting technical infrastructure, high quality tourism services and tours to the relics.
The implementation of the task at the two sites is urgent and aims to prevent and limit the impacts on the relics’ historical values and surrounding environment, according to the ministry.
Quang Tri reported serious erosion hitting many coastal areas of Vinh Moc village, Vinh Thach commune, Vinh Linh district.
In October last year, Vinh Moc Tunnel was damaged by the erosion which has occurred since 2006 due to sea water encroachment.
In mid-1960s, the national movement of liberation of South Vietnam was at its peak.
The US forces expanded attacks on northern Vietnam by both air and sea.
The enemy paid special attention to Vinh Linh district, Quang Tri province, with the aim of turning the area into a white zone to prevent the North from assisting the South.
They dropped about half a million tons of bombs onto this area.
To evade the attacks, local people in the district built a system of tunnels deep under the ground to protect themselves and at the same time supply food and armaments to the North Vietnamese garrison on the island of Con Co, with target to hinder American bombers on their way to Hanoi.
From 1965 to 1968, Vinh Linh people created 114 guerilla warfare tunnels in villages, communes and towns. The tunnel system was used until 1972.
Vinh Moc Tunnel is the most intact as it consists of three floors, 1,701-m long with 13 gates.
To build the system, people had to dig and remove about 6,000cu.m of rock and soil. It is called the tunnel village because the tunnel has a hall, apartments, maternity hospital, message boards, water wells, toilets, and surgical station. In 2,000 days of existence, 17 babies were born there underground.
In 1976, the then Ministry of Culture and Information recognised the tunnels as a national-level historical site.
The site annually welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors, many of them foreigners./.