Thousands of families were left homeless on 3 March after a large fire swept through a shanty community in downtown Manila burning down houses made of light materials.

Authorities said the fire broke out on Monday night and lasted for more than 12 hours as it quickly swept through the neighbourhood.

No casualties were reported.

Some residents on Tuesday returned to their burnt homes and tried to salvage what was left of their belongings.

The Philippine Social Welfare Department said over 10,000 families were displaced by the overnight fire, and close to 5,000 families were staying at evacuation centres around downtown Manila.

Social workers at one of the evacuation centres in the capital city were seen handing out bowls of porridge to men, women and children sheltering in what is normally a covered gymnasium.

Over 615 fire incidents have been reported in Manila since January 2015, with most of the cases reported due to faulty electrical wiring in Manila's slum communities which is usually caused by illegal power connections, the Bureau of Fire Protection said.

The Philippines has declared March a "Fire Prevention Month", hoping to curb the rising cases of fire-related incidents during the summer season.