A massive fire ripped through through a favela – thought to contain 500 homes – in Brazil's most populous city, Sao Paulo, on Tuesday (13 September).

The blaze at the Estrada de Alpina favela began at 20:30 local time (23:30 GMT) and quickly destroyed hundreds of homes, though there were no reports of loss of life.

According to local media, more than 30 firefighters were called in to battle the fire. It is still unclear what caused the fire.

Around 11.25 million people – Brazil's poorest residents – live in 'favelas' – urban shanty towns featuring homes packed together and irregular expansion which often means residents lack basic services.

These communities, with millions working to make a living, are often riddled with drugs and violent crime.

The incident came a day after Brazil's Lower House of Congress removed former House speaker, Eduardo Cunha, who led former President Dilma Rousseff's impeachment proceedings, on corruption charges.

Rousseff, who is accused of having used funds from state-run banks to cover government expenses, was definitively removed from office on 31 August and replaced by her Vice-President turned arch-rival, Michel Temer.

About 60% of the 513 lawmakers in Brazil's Lower House of Congress are under investigation for corruption and many other allegations, watchdog group Transparency Brazil said.