1 / 30

The Wider Image: Manila's slums an endless battle for firefighters

One scorching afternoon this month, inhabitants of a slum in the Philippine capital frantically hurled buckets of water to try to save their homes from a raging fire. Six hours later, their efforts proved to no avail. There have been over 2,200 fires in Manila this year and the majority of these have occurred in slum areas, data from the Bureau of Fire Protection showed. In a country with a yawning wealth gap, the hardest hit are the hundreds of thousands of urban poor who call the shanties home. For the capital's thousands of firefighters, the slums are sprawling, unregulated tinderboxes. Tangles of drooping wires run from one electric post to another along the narrow alleys of the city's most neglected communities, crowded with shacks made from plywood and coconut tree lumber. Fire safety and building codes are unheard of. The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) said the so-called informal settlers complicate efforts to save property and lives. REUTERS/Erik De Castro SEARCH "PHILIPPINES FIRE" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY. Matching text: PHILIPPINES-FIRE/

Floods in southern Philippines

Tropical storm triggers floods, killing more than 400 in southern Philippines.