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CONFIDENTIAL 77 /GS /MG El r r B"llu PanaFy l March 1974 NATIONAL IN CONFOENTIAL NO f ORE IGN DISSEM APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080045 -8 NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE SURVEY PUBLICATIONS The basic unit of the NIS is the General Survey, which is now published in a bound -by- chapter format so that topics of greater per- ishability can be updated on an individual basis. These chapters� Country Profile, The Society, Government and Politics, The Economy, Military Geog- raphy, Transportation and Telecom mu r;icatiuns, Armed Forces, Science, and Intelligence and Security, provide the primary NIS coverage. Some chapters, particularly Science and Intelligence and Security, that are not pertinent to all countries, are produced selectively. For small countries requiring only minimal NIS treatment, the General Survey coverage may be bound into one volume. Supplementing the General Survey is the NIS Basic Intelligence Fact book, a ready reference publication that semiannually updates key sta- tistical data found in the Survey. An unclassified edition of the factbook omit.-, somr details on the economy, the defense forces, and the intelligence and secL. ity organizations. Although detailed sections on many topics were part of the NIS Program, production of these sections has been phased out. Those pre- viously produced will continue to be available as long as the major portion of the study is considered valid. A quarterly listing of all active NIS. units is published in the Inventory of Available NIS Publications, which is also bound into the concurrent classified Factbook. The Inventory lists all NIS units by area name and nurnber and includes classification and date of issue; it thus facilitates the ordering of NIS units as well as their filing, cataloging, and utilization. Initial dissemination, additional copies of NIS units, or separate chapters of the General Surveys can be obtained directly or through liaison channels from the Central Intelligence Agency. The General Survey is prepured for the NIS by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency under the general direction of the NIS Committee. It is coordinated, edited, published, and dissemi- nated by the Central Intelligence Agency. WARNING This document eonteins information affecting the national defense of the United States, within the meaning of title 18, sections 793 and 794 of the US code, as amended. Its transmission or revelatior of its contents to or receipt by an unauthorized person is prohibited by law. CLASSIFIED BY 019641. EXEMPT FROM GENERAL DECLASSIFI. CATION SCHEDULE OF E. O. 11652 EXEMPTION CATEGORIES 5B (1), (2), (3). DECLASSIFIED ONLY ON APPROVAL OF THE DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE. 5 t v 1 1 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080045 -8 j0ni�u@1! Qrm Cd .''`Yi.rJ.''fe.' i 4 i I i WARNING The NIS is National Intelligence and may not be re- leased or shown to representatives of any foreign govern- ment or international body except by specific authorization of the Director of Central Intelligence in accordance with the provisions of National Security Council Intelligence Di- rective No. 1. For NIS containing unclassified material, however, the portions so marked may be made available for official pur- poses to foreign nationals and nongovernment personnel provided no attribution is made to National Intelligence or the National Intelligence Survey. Subsections and graphics are individually classified according to content. Classification /control designa- tions are: (U /OU) Unclassified /For Official Use Only (C) Confidential (S) Secret i Y APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080045 -8 APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080045 -8 -IrmomInc- F PANAMA CONTENTS This chapter ipersedes the geographic cover- age in the General Survey dated March 1970. A. Location and description 1 1. Topography 1 2. Climate 5 B. Military geographic regions 5 1. Forested Panama and Southern High- lands 5 2. Southwestern :,owlands and South Central Lowlands g C Strategic area 7 D. Internal route 9 E. Approaches 9 1 Land 10 2 Sea 10 3 Air 10 CONFIDEN ITAL W FIGURES page Page Fig. 1 Western highlands (p)'wto) 1 Fig. 5 Flat plains in south- central Fig. 2 Dissected hills in the suthwest Panama (p 4 4 photo) Fig. 6 Canal Zone strategic area ma 8 r Fig. 3 Rugged highlands in southern Fig. 7 Fig. 8 Panama photo) Amphibious landing areas (table) 9 11 Panama photo) 2 Fig. 9 Climatic data (snap and Fig. 4 Mangrove forest at the mouth of graphs) oi p f lows 12 the Rio Chepo photo) 3 Fig. 10 Military geographic factors map) do N APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080045 -8 *;O I /_1� 2160 4 Ili ;N r a N 4 4 A_F9:W41111:71II5 [wo] /_d N 11:111 111111HIN Z11111IN111I11.111111 611.3 t Military Geography A. Location and description (U /OU) Pit nama� inclt:ding the Republic of Panama and the U.S. cased Canal 7onc ---is at tilt. narrowest part of the isthmus connecting North and Soutit America. The Canal ;Gone isabout 500 nauticid miles vest of the important oilfields in western Venezuela and is %vithirt 700 nautical rnilcs of Cuba. Pananla's MOST vaivable resource has been its geographic location and the subsc(1ur!nt construclion of tilt. Punarrta Canal. one of the two most significant interoccan ship canals of the world, '['!le canal is a vital factor in hemisphere (lcferise and economic consideratlolls. it greatly facilitates movement of naval and commercial vessels between the Atlantic and Pacific Oce ;tlls, "'Ire combined area of Panama (2(3,208 square rn �acs) and the Canal Zone (553 square mil including wetter areas) is about two thirds the area elf Penttsylvarlia, The country has a maximum cast -tyest cxicnt of about 4W tltiles' and at maxitntim north south cxlant of 120 rnilcs. The population, t,640,600 is shout one -tenth that of Pennsylvan �a (Pauatna, 1,504,000 and Cana! Zone, 46,600), I. Topography Densely forested highlands and plains comprise about three- fourths of tilt. ckluutry; the retnaintier 't)istunccs me in statute rnilcs rmless aanlic:d rnilcs arc siscific:ttly stated, consists predominantly of cultF;ated orgrass-orscrub- covered lowland plains (Figur(r lo, map at end of chapt ^r). Fast -ryes,' trending bands of rugged hills and mountains (Figure 1), generally between 500 and 7,000 feel ahove sea level, cgelld almost unbmkcn front the Costa Hirt border to Colombia. I�iighly dissected hills and mountains rise aitruptly from the narrow Caribbean coastal plain and form the drainage divide between the Caribbean artd pacific. Ill the southwest, a narrow spur of predorninaniiy rugged hills (Figure 2) extends from the div �de to the Pacific. The highlands forming tile divide am an ctlrrtosl enrl"llotts he'( of high, rugged, steep -sided mountains and hills elloracteri-red by steep, highly dissected slopes, ticeply incised, narrow V shaped valleys, and nearly continuous crests; perpendicular sharp crested ridges are connnoll in the west. I"evations increase from cast to west reaching a maximum elevation of 11,400 feet near the Costa Rica bonder-. [n general, elevations range from about 1,650 feet to 6,600 feel in the west to generally less than 1,900 feet in the cast. Adjaccu.t to and within the Canal Zone, the divide is hisected Ilya predornitlantiv rolling pill"' that ilia- S()me scattered dissected areas and law hills. South of Santiago, a rugged group of severely dissected, steep -sided hills and mountains (Figure 3) rises steeply from the Pacific coast and reaches a olaxinlnm cicyation of about 5,000 feet. FIGURE 1. This maze of steep, deeply dissected mountains Is typical of mast of the mountainous areas, Particularly in the western port of the country. Cresilines are short and randomly aligned; most crests are sharp. Volleys are V- shaped, winding, and deeply incised. The entire mass Is blanketed by dense broadleaf evergreen forests, (C) APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080045 -8 Urfa is t. WE @I NI& ff' I I i Plains comprise a large area of eastern Panama on the Pacific side of the highland divide. The plains are predominr.ntly rolling, with large areas of flat surfaces, some areas of dissected surfaces, and a few scattered low hills. Highly dissected, discontinuous hills and mountains fringe the narrow Pacific coastal plain and, in places, extend to the coast. Dense broadleaf evergreen forests, in places intermixed with broadleaf deciduous forests, cover more than half of western Panama and nearlv all of eastern Panama. The trees are commonly closely spaced, are up to 10 feet in diameter, and have a dense continuous canopy. The deciduous trees lose their leaves gradually, and ne leaves continually repl. ce those that have fallen; thus the forest canopy is fairly continuous all year. The undergrowth is generally sparse under the forest canopy but is more dense in FIGURE 2. Low hills with rounded to rugge J summit areas stretch from the central part of the western highlands southward to the Pacific and form the Peninsula de las Palmas. They are moder%itely dis- sected, and narrow V- shaped valleys prevail. Most elevations in this hill area are less than 1,400 feet. Broadleaf evergreen brush intermixed with broadleaf ever- green forest cover most of the area. (C) FIGUkE 3. A complex mass of deeply dissected hills and a few small scattered areus of roiling plains compose a large part of the Peninsula de Azuero, south of Santiago. The hills rise steeply from narrow, twisting valleys or adjacent plains to A- shaped crests. Most of the area is less than 2,650 feet above sea level. Broad- leaf evergreen forest cr broadleaf deciduous scrub cover most of the area. (C) APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080045 -8 n 9 clearings and along streams. The forests are interspersed with small, scattered cultivated or grass covered areas near the coasts and are fringed by cultivated or grass and scrub in the southwest. Numerous streams drain the highlands and plains. They are generally short vnd swift, except in the eastern interior plains. In the highlands, thev flow through deep valleys less than 150 feet wide and have rocky or gravelly bottoms. Stream levels fluctuate greatly from season to season. Most streams are less than 3.5 feet deep during the low -water period, January through April, but many exceed this level during the high water period, May through December. In the lowlands, streams flow sluggishl through shallow, meandering channels between 150 and 500 feet wide; a few exceed 500 feet in width. They are generally more than 3.5 feet deep; however, I X J ;Y i+ K I y `7 7 J r during the low -water period, sandbars and gravelly bottoms are exposed locally. Stream bottoms are mainly composed of gravel and sand but are silty or muddy near the river mouths. Mangrove swamps (Figure 4) and marshes are extensive, particularily in the southern coastal areas. They var in extent and depth as river floodwaters encroach on low -lying land and as tidal flooding occurs along the coast. Drainage features in the Canal Zone have been altered so greatly that artificial rather than natural drainage dominates. The outstanding features consist of the canal, which ranges between 300 and 500 feet in width, and two manmade lakes. Flooding does not occur in the Canal Zone because all drainage is controlled. Flat to rolling plains are in the south central and southwestern parts of the country. The south central plains are predominantly rolling, and scattered, roughly dissected plains are adjacent to the highlands. Relativelv small, discontinuous flat plains fringe the FIGURE 4. Mangrove forest at the mouth of the Rio Chepo. The trees are approximately 100 feet tall and their trunks measure about 1 %2 feet in diameter; the canopy is dense. Organic ooze is common on the ground. (C) MARSH coastal margins (Figure 5). In the southwest, extensive flat plains fringe the coast and merge into gentl rolling plains in the interior. A relatively large area of dissected plains flanks the adjacent highland in the north. Low, lightly dissected hills are scattered throughout the plains and a small hilly area parallels the Costa Rica border in the southwest. Throughout the plains, elevations range from sea level to about 1,300 feet; however, most of the area is less than 600 feet above sea level. The plains are predominantly covered by a mixture of grassland and scrub, interspersed with cropland. Large areas of the plains in the southwest are under continuous cultivation. Numerous streams d -ain the adjacent highlands and flow sluggishly across the south- central and southwestern plains in broad, meandering channels. Most streams are less than 250 feet Nvide, although a few major streams are as much as 500 feet wide at their mouths. Although depths of most principal streams are APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080045 -8 I I I 4 i I 1 l t I FIGURE 5. Discontinuous areas of flat plains are common along the southern coasts. t These plains near Aguadulce are nearly featureless; valley bottoms are less than 35 feet below the broad interfluves, and most slopes are less than 3%. Grasslands dotted with patches of low evergreen and deciduous forest and deciduous scrub cover the f plains. (C) 6 more than 3.5 feet, sandbars and gravelly bottoms are and depth during the high water period and during I visible, in places, during the low -water period. Near high tide. the highlands, bottoms consist largely of gravel and Settlements and transportation lines are coneen- sand, but downstream they are principally composed trated in the Canal Zone and its environs and in the y of sand, mud, and silt. Swamps, primarily mangrove, southwest; in other parts of the country, settlement is 4 v x and marshes fringe most of the coastal areas and sparse or nonexistent. The larger cities are at the extend inland along the lower courses of man termini of the Panama C,111,11 and a provide storage in(] streams. The swamps and marshes increase in extent servicing facilities for its activities. Other urban Fj b 4v; n'.` to:x.at4;ei"rlt5.+zd8'i,:rt r S9tL&' LAC: AL.'wid9.. {a'rJL' {r .;..,e ..La.v ..:t'i. 2r ,._...:i...m.: 3;a....x _...n:sz tee n.'. clivi..._.,_,.n_.... n.dnt ,c tiil'CS$d J c I' i J i i i I communities, located mostly in southwestern Panama, are small and serve primarily as regional agricultural marketing or distribution centers. Generally, in the urban areas, commercial and industrial establishments are so intermingled with dwellings that few purely residential sections exist. The larger cities have a grid street pattern and consist of one- to two story, closely spaced buildings constructed of concrete, brick, or wood with tile or galvanized -iron roofs. The principal streets are generally surfaced and two lanes wide. In the smaller ur'.�an communities, buildings are generally one story and of brick or wood construction and have tile, galvanized -iron, or thatched roofs. Rural dwellings are constructed largely of adobe. Highways, although sparse, comprise the only integrated transportation network in Panama. The Inter- Arrierican Highway and a transisthmian road, the Boyd- Roosevelt Highway, which serve the only two significantly populated sections of the country, are surfaced and in generally good Condit ,)n. However, most of the feeder roads leading into the Infer- American Highway are unsurfaced and become impassable after heavy rains, Single -track 3'0" -gage rail lines serve small areas in the northwest and southwest, and a single -track 5'0" -gage rail line augments the transportation facilities in the Canal Zone. Inland waterways, with the exception of the Panama Ca.tal are generally utilized for local movement only and are relatively insignificant. 2. Climate Panama has a tropical climate characterized by a prolonged rainy season, May through December, and a short dry season, January through April (Figure 9, chart at end of chapter). Weather conditions during these seasons are influenced chiefly by the Intertropical Convergence Zone, located near Panama during the rainy season, and by the strength of the northeasterly trade winds, strongest and most pronounced over the area during the (Iry season. In most of Panama, temperature and relative humidity are uniformly high all year and have only small to moderate diurnal variations. Rainfall is plentiful, averaging between 50 and 150 inches per year over most sections, and occurs mostly as showers. During the prolonged rainy season, the frequent, often heavy, showery precipitation is the principal cause of restricted visibility. Rainfall occurs on about 15 to 25 days per month, while the frequency of thunderstorm days ranges from more than 20 per month in parts of the interior to mostly 5 to 15 per month elsewhere. A thunderstorm maximum usually occurs in July, August, or September. Cloudiness is extensive and skies frequently become cloudy to overcast, especially ;luring the afternoon. The shorter dry season is marked by negligible to light rainfall, which occurs on 10 days per month or less in moss sections, and by a reduced number of thunderstorms, generally less than 3 per month. Except for haze aloft and for cloud development along windward slopes, visibility is generally good and skies are clear to partly cloudy. Northerly or northeasterly surface winds prevail throughout the year except in the mountain sections, where winds are deflected by topographic features, and is the southwest, where winds are quite variable during the rainy season. Wind speeds are generall light, rarely exceeding 25 knots. However, strong gusts occur in some mountain passes and in association with thunderstorms. B. Military geographic regions (C) Differences in terrain afford a basis for dividing the country into four military geographic regic ris� Forested Panama, Southern Highlands, Southwestern Lowlands, and South Central Lowlands (Figure 10, map at end of chapter). The combination of environmental enuditions within the Forested Panama and Southern P`g"lands regions would have a relatively uniform effect on military operations, but there would be marked differences between these regions and the Southwestern Lowlands and South Central Lowlands regions. 1. Forested Panama and Southern Highlands These regions consist of the predominantly forested highlands and plains comprising about 75% of Panama. The broadleaf evergreen and deciduous forests covering most cif the regions are extremely dense, continuous, and have an almost complete canopy. Flanking the forested highlands in the southwest and sou'll are hills and mountains predominantly covered i>v brush, scrub, and grass and having scattered areas of cultivation. Extensive areas of swanip and marsh fringe both the Catibbean and Pacific coasts. Settlements and transportation lines are concentrated in the Canal 'Lone and its environs. Elsewhere, the regions are extremel sparsely populated, and large areas, especially in eastern Panarna, are virtually uninhabited. Conditions are largely unsuited for large -scale conventional ground operations in these regions. Vehicular cross country movement and offroad dispersal would be extremely difficult or precluded in most places by dense forest, steep slopes, or swamps 5 i APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080045 -8 r 4..G. ;.....a..r;'7^1Ii '4 K" L..., .e:. r:..s �.^e: .�n ^..v. ......n :q r R: n:r.. irw;� �'iYa.p:da,N..M.:+rn3tk'+,k .1.7! Yi ',2WY and marshe. The only existing avenues for movement would be the limited road network that serves the Canal Zone and its environs. Several low capacity bridges and, in places, sharp curves and steep grades would impede onroad movement, and many of the unsurfaced roads become impassable after heavy rains. The construction of roads would be difficult. Heavy grading and blasting and much cut and fill would be required in the highlands, and road alignments would be extremely restricted. Throughout the regions, extensive clearing and grubbing would be necessary and constant maintenance would be required to prevent the regrowth of vegetation. The region is well suited for the construction of underground installations. The rugged hills and mountains provide numerous sites for the construction of tunnel -type installations, and the thick soils covering most of the plains, hills, and lower mountain slopes provide many sites for the construction of bunkers and hasty ground fortifications. Access to most potential construction sites in these regions, however, would be extremely difficult. The dense forests provide excellent concealment from air and ground observation. Additional concealment from ground observation and cover from flat trajectory fire would be provided by the rugged terrain. The regions are unsuited for airborne and airmobile operations. Because of the rugged terrain and dense vegetation there are virtually no sites for parachute operations, and sites suitable for helicopter operations are limited to a few areas of low cultivation and grassland. The few existing airfields constitute the best areas for most operations and the only suitable areas for landings of assault -type aircraft. The largest airfields are concentrated in the Canal Zone or within 25 miles east of the Zone; other airfields are mostly small, unpaved facilities that would require constant maintenance. Sites suitable for the construction of large airfields having unrestricted runway orientations and approaches are limited to a few widely scattered flat plains. Elsewhere, excessive slopes preclude the construction of all but the smallest airfields. The coasts of these regions are poorly suited for amphibious operations. Although there are many firm sandy beaches, nearshore and, along the Caribbean coast, offshore approaches are partly obstructed by reefs, rocks, shoals, sandbars, extensive mudflats, islands, and islets. Many of the beaches on the Pacific coast are usable only at high water. Exits inland would be precluded in most places by swamps, marshes, and densely forested lowlands or hills. The few existing transportation facilities are suitable only for local movement. Terrain conditions in these regions are excellent for irregular force operations. The dense forests provide excellent concealment from air and ground observation and would permit clandestine movement of small groups of personnel with a minimum chance of detection. The rugged hills and mountains would provide additional concealment from ground observation as well as afford excellent cover from flat trajectory fire. In most places the only possible means of cross country movement would be on foot; vehicular movement would be confined almost entirely to the very few roads. The population and transportation lines are concentrated in the Canal Zone and its environs. Elsewhere, the population is extremely sparse and many areas are virtually uninhabited. Food supplies would be difficult to obtain in these sparsely populated areas. The only source of supply would be from small, scattered agricultural areas and the Canal Zone. Fish and edible wild plants are abundant; however, wild game is generally scarce in densely forested areas. Fresh water is generally available from perennial streams. Timber for shelter materials is abundant, but firewood may be scarce in some areas. Irregular force personnel would be subjected to numerous detrimental physiological and psychological aspects in these region. The tropical climate with heavy rainfall and high temperatures and humidity is both depressing and enervating, slowing physical activity and creating health problems. Diseases and infections develop rapidly, and materiel is subject to rot, mildew, and corrosion. Dangerous plants and animals, insects, and .allergenic plants are widespread. The predominantly heavily forested coasts and rugged, forested borders are mostly unpatrolled and could be clandestinely penetrated by small groups with little difficulty. LU i I I c,< i i I 2. Southwestern Lowland; and South- Central Lowlands These regions consist of the large, discontinuous coastal plains along the Pacific coast. The plains are predominantly flat to rolling with scattered areas of roughly dissected plains and sonic low hills. 'file central plains are mostly scrub- or grass covered, and there are scattered areas of cultivation. L arge areas of the Southwestern Lowlands are tinder continuous cultivation. Extensive areas of swamp and marsh fringe the coasts. Most of the population., settlements, and transportation lines of Panama, outside of the Canal Zone and its environs, are located in these regions. In these regions, conditions are, for the most part, suitable for large -scale conventional ground X APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080045 -8 0 operations, Onroad rnoverncnt is possible all year on the Inter American Higlwc,y -nd on the surfaced roads leading to the highwa However, most roads that intersect this highway are of earth and are impassable after heavy rains. Offroad dispersal and cross- country movement of vehicles would be feasible but would be restricted in direction by numerous streams and severely hindered in the roughly dissected areas. Cross- country vehicular movement would he precluded in the areas of swamps and marshes. In most of the region, the construction of roads would involve only minor construction problems. Road alignments would be generally unrestricted, and only light grading and clearing would he required. Extensive drainage facilities and much fill would be required in the areas of swamp and marsh. There are numerous sites suitable for the construction of bunkers and hasty ground fortifications in the predominantly thick, well drained soils of the regions. The generally low relief, however, affords few sites for the construction of tunnel -type installations. Oppor- tunities for cover and concealment are limited in these regions. Some cover from flat trajectory fire and concealment from ground observation would he provided by surface irregularities aril steep streambanks� Additional limited cover from flat trajectory fire and concealment from air and ground observation would be prov ;ded by some structures in the scattered towns and villages. The regions are generall well suited for airborne and airrnobde operations. There are numerous good sites suitable for parachute and helicopter operations in the grass and cultivated plains. The regrouping of personnel and retrieval of supplies would he easy, and landings and takeoffs of helicopters would be unrestricted. There are also many suitable sites in the scrub- covered plains; however, the size of most sites would be limited. There are few existing airfields suitable for the landings of assault -type aircraft. The two largest airfields are south of David and northeast of Rio Hato;' other airfields are small and tnpaved and would require constant maintenance. The construction of airfields would, for the most part, involve only minor construction problems. Runwav orientations and air approaches would be getu.rally unrestricted in the flat plains but would be restricted Ic.cally in the areas adjacent to the dissected plains and highlands. rhese regions are, for the most part, unsuuiled for amphibious operations. There are many sandy beaches, but nearshorc and offshore approaches to 'For diacritics on place name~ sec the list or names on the apron of the Military Geographic Factors map and the neap itself large parts of each region are partly obstructed by mudflats, shifting sandbars, rocks, reefs, shoals, islands, and islets. ;Movement inland would be precluded along most of the coast b extensive areas of marsh and swamp. Elsewhere, muddy soils during the wet season and the general Luck of developed transportation facilities leading inland seriously hinder exits from the beaches. Terrain conditions in these regions are poorly suited for irregular force operations. The limited oppor- tunities for concealment from air and ground observation and co from flat trajectory fire would severely restrict clandestine movement of small groups of personnel. In addition, cross country movement of conventional forces is generally fair and conventional helicopter and parachute operations are possible over wide areas. Food supplies are available from numerous small farms and plantations; however, edible plants, fish, and small game are limited. Plentiful fresh water, although biologically contaminated, is available only during the wet season. During the dry season, fresh- water supplies are scarce. Timber for shelter materials and firewood is generally lacking. Irregular force personnel would be subjected to detrimental Physiological and psychological aspects in these regions as in the adjacent forested highlands and plains. The limate is only slightl less enervating, and there are only a few dangerous plants and animals. The mostly unpatrolled coasts of these regions are largely fringed by extensive areas of swamp and -marsh and could be penetrated by small groups with little difficulty. C. Strategic area (C) The Canal 'Lone and its environs comprise the only strategic area in the Republic of Panama (Figure The strategic area contains the Panama Canal and the installations necessary for the maintenance and defense of the canai. The part of the strategic area within the Republic contains the political, industrial, commercial, telecommunications, and cultural enters of the country. The two metropolitan areas, Panama City (Figure 7) and Colon (1970 population 412,400 and 70,700, respectively), and the Canal Zone (1970, �16,600) contain -17% of the total population of the country. "'he Panama Canal is of vital importance to the Republic because the industrial and commercial activities of the strategic area are in large part dependent upon the existence of this waterway� Most of the installations in the strategic area are concentrated near Cristobal (on the Caribbean) and Balboa (on the Pacific), the terminal points of the Ih i t APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080045 -8 [7irl a ra t. ara r^ &5 t i- rt' f r Von q. CARIBBEAN SEA Hreakwaten Sslud Pima 0 o BA1114 LAS MINAS O ortobeb 1 sto O O r Dam i F r e r o f" o scobal to q 79' 00' l ,rT 0 30' 30 r i I i I CANAX ambo 1 De ,J J en xn� OU u, ZONE t d Inter- Amer an Y te p La Chorrera r CaPlra n PANAMA menu p e a dl BAS' OF PA ";1MA y a� e Pa core 0 o0 Road T 1 Airfield Al Petroleum refinery I Railroad v Lock Powerplant r Landing beach Fort i2 Satell;te Communication ground station 0 5 30 15 20 25 Statute Miles 0 5 10 15 20 25 Kilometers FIGURE 6. Canal Zone strategic area (C) canal and the largest prrts in Central America. The installations inclr.lde tile. various facilities for international commercial shipping, as well as U.S. naval facilities, military installations for air and ground defense of the canal, administrative and military headquarters, extensive billeting and storage facilities, and most of the industrial installations in the available for about 3,080,000 barrels, of which about 1,070,000 barrels is crude storage. Other significant facilities at seven sites scattered throughout the C anal Zone provide storage for about 5,800,000 barrels of refined products. The largest powerplant in the country (116,000 kilowatts) is also located in the Bahia Las Minas area. The strategic area i5 the control center 0 Republic. Industrial development is limited rnainly to for the nationwide wire and radio telecornrrlunications I food processing and to the manufacture of network. International tclecomnnmications traffic is construction material.. An oil refinery, with a capacity routed through nearby radio communication stations of 75,000 barrels per day, is located near Colon in the and the satellite ground station about 10 miles Bahia Las Minas area; petroletlin storage facilities are nol:hcast of Panama City. An international submarine 8 I APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080045 -8 -Irmo me rnc. ass;, 6 r**t..r3 r: cable lwi *rrinates in the Canal 'Lone, near Colon. Within Colon is an important 100 acre, enclosed, free port zone. Of the six most important airfields in the strategic area, three are military airfields in the Canal Zone and three are civil airfields northeast of Panama C;ty. Tocumen International Airfield, one of the civil facilities, handles the largest volume of traffic and is one of two airfields in the country open to international traffic. It has complete overhaul and repair facilities and is to be expanded in the near future. Other important areas ire David and Puerto Armuelles: NAME IMPORTANCE David Transportation and market center. 8 82 International airfield nearby. Esti- mated population 43,000. Petro- leum storage facilities for 38,900 harrels of refined products. Puerto Arnmelles POA on Pacific coast. Terminus of 8-17'N., 82 r rilroad from David. Small air- field nearby. Estimated population 13,000. Petroleum storage facilities for 48,000 barrels, of which 5,000 barrels is crude storage. D. Internal route (C) The internal route (Figure 10, map at end of chapter) provides the easiest avenue of movement from the land approach southeast of Corredor, Costa Rica, and from the amphibious landing area al-out 25 Miles southwest of the Canal 'Lone to the trategic area. The route crosses mostly flat to rolling plains, although surfaces are dissected in many places. The. plains are covbred mainly by grassland or scrub and cropland, but swamps and marshes are extensive in parts of the route. Tramportation facilities consist of a road, part of the Inter American Highway, and, in the extreme southwest, a railroad. The road is concrete surfaced, two lanes, and in good condition. Landslides, washouts, and many sharp curves and steep grades would hinder onroad movement. The rail line is single track and 3'0" gage. During the dry season, offroad dispersal and cross country movement generally would be unrestricted in the flat to rolling plains but would he severely hindered or precluded by steep slopes in dissected areas and, in places, by swamps and marshes. During the remainder of the year, muddy ground would preclude offroad dispersal and cross country movement locally. E. Approaches The perimeter of the country totals about 1,935 miles. Land boundaries extend approximately 390 miles, mostly across forested hills and mountains. Both land boundaries are demarcated and unfortified. The Canal Zone is a 10 -mile -wide strip, dividing the Republic of Panama into two nearly equal parts. A Panamanian enclave, Colon, is on the Caribb +pan coast of the Canal Zone (Figure 10, map at end of chapter). (U /OU) The boundary with Costa Rica, about 225 miles� traverses, for the most part, densely forested hills and mountains. In the north, it is across a densely forested plain and in ']lost of the south an open forested or cultivated plain. The Rio Sixaola marks the boundary in the extreme north. The boundary with Colombia is 165 miles long and is mostly across densely forested hills and mountains. (U /OU) The Caribbean coastline, 345 miles, has few irregularities and is backed by a predominantly rolling FIGURE 7. Panama City occupies a nearly flat coastal strip at the southern entrance to the Panama Canal. The principal business section is intermixed with govern- ment and residential buildings. Structures are up to 10 %tories and are of reinforced concrete or wood and masonry construction. (C) 9 t APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080045 -8 orif ni�u 0 T &Nm I 1 to hillocky plain. Extensive areas of fresh -water swamp or marsh fringe the shore in the extreme west. The Pacific coastline, 1,000 miles long, is indented b numerous bays and gulfs. The predominantly low coast is interrupted by hills in the central and extreme eastern sections. Extensive areas of swamp, mostly mangrove or marsh, fringe much of the chose and, in the east, border estuaries that extend far inland. Panama claims territorial jurisdiction over waters within 200 nauticai miles of its shores. (U /OU) 1. Land (C) Overland approach to Panama is severely hampered or precluded by the perennially large Rio Sixaola, dense forest, and rugged highlands. Cross country movement over the borders is virtually impossible. Developed transportation facilities cross only the Costa Rica border. The principal facilities consist of a section of the Inter- American Highwav, a rail line in the southwest, and a short rail line in the northwest that lacks connections with ether parts of either Costa Rica or Panama. The approach from Costa Rica extends across open to densely forested plains and contains a road that is gravel surfaced and two lanes wide. There are few possibilities for offroad dispersal or cross country movement. 2. Sea (C) S^a approaches to both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts are partly obstructed. Offshore approaches are mostly deep and clear along the western half of the Caribbean coast but are channelized and partly obstructed by reefs, rocks, shoals, and islets in the eastern half. Nearshore approaches to the entire coast are partly obstructed by rocks, shoals, sandbars, stretches of fringing coral reef, islands, and islets. Nearshore bottom material consists of sand, mud, shell, and coral reef; bottom gradients vary from flat to steep. 'rides are diurnal and have a range of about 1 foot. Surf 4 feet or higher occurs infrequently in all months on protected shores and up to 53% of the time January through March, on exposed shores. There are many beaches consisting mainly of firm sand along the Caribbean coast, but few have feasible exits. Beach gradients are moderate to mild in the low -water to high -water zone, and are generally steep in the high -water zone. Movement inland would be severely hampered or precluded by dissected, densely forested plains that back most of the shore and, in the west, by extensive areas of fresh -water swamp or marsh. Offshore and nearshore approaches to the Pacific coast are partly obstructed by rocks, reefs, shoals, 10 islands, at of islets. Nearshore approaches are also partly obstructed by fringing reefs, shifting sandbars, and extensive mudflats. Nearshore bottom material is composed of sand, mud, rock, shell, and gravel; flat to mild bottom slopes are common. Tides are semidiurnal and have spring ranges of 9 t to 16 feet. Surf 4 feet or higher can be expected to occur infrequently on protected shores and up to 20% of the time on exposed shores. Beach materials are sand, mud, pebbles, and rocks. Gradients on the beaches are flat to steep in the low -water to high -water zone and are predominantly steep to moderate in the high -water zone. Exit from the beaches would be precluded in most places by mangrove swamps and marshes or densely forested, highly dissected terrain. Transpor- tation facilities leading inland sure virtually nonexistent along most of the coast and are generally inadequate where they do exist. The amphibious landing areas shown on figure 10, map at end of chapter, provide access to the strategic area or to the internal route leading to the strategic area. Detailed information on the 'amphibious landing areas is presented in Figure 8. 3. Air (U /OU) There are four air approaches' to Panama. The northern approach is over the Caribbean Sea, t!tc eastern over Colombia, the southern over the Pacific Ocean, and the northwestern over Costa Rica and southern Nicaragua. Rugged mountains in the eastern and northwestern approaches are hazards to low flying aircraft. Crests are generally less than 9,000 feet above sea level; however, several peaks in the northwest are over 10,000 feet, and a few in the cast exceed 12,000 feet. The highest is in the eastern approach and rises to nearly 18,000 feet. Weather conditions in general are Most favorable over the Pacific and least favorable over land approaches. Over all approaches,, weather conditions are usually favorable in December through April, and hazardous conditions occur most often in May through November. Winds aloft are light and easterly throughout the year below 25,000 feet. Above 25,000 feet, winds remain easterly during June through November and westerlies prevail in December through May. Mean speeds are mostly less than 40 knots. Dining the period May through November in all approaches, the principal weather hazards are 'Discussion zones for air approaches exh approximateh 2W nautical miles hevond the borders of Panama. i rt `1 F 1 f i I i i c. H' T a d 0 o> c c O O t CL Q 00 W u_ 11 Y w A z U W 61 c z z w w z C. a w F x U w w x U 0 m z O H 0 ,1 y 0 td v C G :7 >a b .L 4 'D m E N c o w E o o v 3 E 7 a c m� 7a 'C d F'i OS w 1. 7 u 'D O X C O y fl 'O v O u aqi O cd N d n O a 0 Y C p a ae^o a 'o o m a W a L 0 n W 'ti w m `c� m 4 L y rx m L O O d O J y L a g E C d O cd r. a c c c Y Z a E d L ti v Y y a m v^ m ,a m v a oL o y J y �Ln o cs .�a a c c a L a e CJ V a a 0 a d 0 .E m .o .a a..n m E E S O ai C C C C ^O q 0 'O d O E C m o O x c O N d o 'c E y x E a d o .o w 07 w w E n is m m 00 a E m ca c c ��gymd3maflca'odw3ab O O y a .o c o x a a N T C O O 7 m ca v L W N Ly ..k a.+ Z. �ca o� �p 7 E C d .�.a m O n y r 7 N .D m 7 0 3 C m O O U O .D r w e E E d m w d a d b c_ m a a o� a o m o g o a E cro m 0 O m c y d d L y a q m a' fl a c 3 o m a 3 fl eo m L o.a.a N cs x mOU x 4cd ^a.a Ncm F' T G'i .li d O m r+ 7 O .9 y L b o C m v O G E L ac 'v E o a m O O O Q o eo a O G xN o v ti .0 0 L r v A V L c _N A y W y ld O y y a lti L n") a y d mr i 4 Y 4 ld L 'S Ci y L 4 L V C pp d U V O 'O V 7 7 y m 4 y b O d w E L O y C 'O 'O N a C m o7 L o A w O q c m of 07 y V L Z w W y k ce Co b w e t N v a b 6 C m 0 O m O .0 o c F d= 'fl m DO .a.+ V m w c .fl 1 N O o-7 p m be o c E 'y0 E c a m as O i. E c a Z v m m m o d �7 m a be .D ,n 1 ,j .N E a! V b w 'D 7 a p' d O m 7 d w .E n L o y K v m E O w d tD d c d y b c y d Q' 61 v C D .t y O m y w O d G d w G 7 C 0 7 w o a C ctl y c �r 3 ti 7 a m W r w 3 m E E M C C M O L 0 7 0 m m c C o E C M r o d I I m 3 d c 'c N y c ca c N U `o o U m r E o ca U a a a APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080045 -8 'i I rk CONFIDENTIAL extensive convective cloudiness (averaging 70% to 90%) which is accompanied by frequent rain showers, moderate to severe turbulence, and the increased risk of severe icing above 15,000 feet, the mean height of the freezing level. Convective cloudiness and thunderstorm activity tend to be most pronounced during the afternoon over land and at night over water. Thunderstorm activity, another major hazard, is at a maximum at this time of year, occurring on 5 to 15 days per month in all sections and up to 20 days per month in some areas. Thunderstorms are especially severe over and near mountainous regions where vertical development often reaches heights of 50,000 to 60,000 feet. Visibility is generally good but may be restricted for brief periods during rain showers and thunderstorms. Tropical storms infrequently affect the 12 northern approaches and cause widespread, multi layered cloudiness, strong winds, severe turbulence, and heavy rainfall. During the period December through April, weather conditions are largely improved by the decrease in convective cloudiness, 30% to 50 and thunderstorm activity, generally less than 10 per month in all sections and less than 5 per month in some areas. Vertical cloud development is usually limited to 6,000 feet and seldom extends above 20,000 feet, thus reducing the likelihood of severe turbulence and aircraft icing. Shower acti pity is sporadic and widely scattered, and good visibi: ty prevails most of the time. However, occasional .gold fronts penetrate the approaches from the north, causing low ceilings, low visibility, and squ, Ilv conditions for brief periods. NO FOREIGN DISSEM CONFIDENTIAL T E 1J 4 A Y. i t ror APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080045 -8 COLON 100 BO AD .0 20 0 JFMAMJIASON I DAVID 100 Bo 60 40 20 0 1FMAMIJASON CRISTOBAL 3D 20- 10 0 1FMAMIJASON RIO HATO 30 20 10 01 FMAMJIASON ALBROOK AIR FORCE BASE 100 60 .0 20 O IFMAMIIASON POCRI 100 60 AD 20 0 JFMAMJIASON MEAN CLOUDINESS COLON 30 20 10 0- /FMAMJ JASON ALBROOK AIR FORCE BASE 30 20 10- 0 IFMAMIJASON RIO HATO 100 BO 60 ,D 20 O IFMAMIJASON ISLA DEL REY 100 90 60 ,0 20 0 1FMAMJIASON DAVID 30 20 10 0 JFMAMIIASON BALBOA HEIGHTS 30 20 10 0 JFMAMJIASOND DAVID 100 80 60 ,0 20 6 0 JFMAMJIASONDI lSlllllli !!'E -s' -lu POCRI ISLA DEL REY 100 100 lm so 60 60 40 ,0 20 20 2 D 0 JfMA'I IASONOJ 1FMAMIJASONDI PERCENTAGE FREQUENCY OF CEILING 5,000 FEET AT SPECIFIED HOURS (LST) CAR13313EAN SEA 1 HANGUIN LA O CO A /GNNA y CRIST06 X r APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080045 -8 IN 1 DAVID POCRI ISLA DEL REY l T I I so 60 60 60 10 .0 I 20 6 20 O J F M AM J J AS'TN D 1 O JFMAMJJASONDJ JFMAMJIASONDJ PEKf;ENTAGE FREQUENCY OF CEILING 5,00L, FEET AT SPECIFIED HOURS (LST) POCRI 100 o D 60 10 20 D JFMAMJJASONDJ ALBROCJ'< AIR FORCE BASE 100 Bo 2 60 .0 20 O IFMAMI IASONDJ ISLA DEL REY JAOUE 100 100 p Bo I 60 60 .0 I I; I I I I I I I I I I 20 J 2 0 11, JJJJ 0 k- F- F- V- �J- 1FMAMI JASONDI 1FMAM1 lA50ND1 MEAN RELATIVE HUMIDITY AT SPECIFIED HOURS (LST) CHANGUINOLA 100 BO 60 .0 20 O IFMAMI JASON ELEV. 16 FT. V CARIBBEAN SEA HANGUIN LA Co CRIST ARGANA DAVID ,00 60 .0 20 0 1fMAM1 JASON ELEV 62 FT CERRO PUNTA 100 60 .0 20 0 JfMAM1 JA50N EIEV. 6.110 FT. RIO HATO 100 so 60 .0 20 O J FMAM1 J ASON ELEV. 7J FT. CRISTOBAL 100 B 60 .0 20 0 JfMAM1 JASONI ELEV. 10 FT. BALBOA HEICHT5 100 Do 6D r .0 2D O JFMAMI JASON ELEV. 100 FT. r�I oA do .as APPROVED FOR RELEASE: 2009/06/16: CIA- RDP01- 00707R000200080045 -8 Inn "me rn c- POCRI ISLA DEL REY JAOUE 30 30 30 20 20 I I 20 10 f0 10 0 1FMAMJIASOM 0 .I 1FMAM1 IASO 0 1FMAMIIASON MEAN NUMBER OF DAYS WITH THUNDERSTORMS �