At least three people have been killed as fires rage on the Atlantic island of Madeira with hundreds evacuated from homes and buildings including the hospital.

For two days hundreds of firefighters have battled the deadly blaze which has wreathed the Island in smoke and flame. The Portugese daily Diário de Notícias reported that three people were killed as the fires reached the Island's capital of Funchal.

Madeira's regional government has said in a statement that two residents were killed as their homes were engulfed by the fires. Over night the death of a elderly woman, too sick to leave her home in Funchal was also reported. Two others have also been left seriously injured.

Of the roughly hundreds of displaced residents and tourists evacuated from homes and hotels , 600 are being housed in a military garrison with others staying in a Civic Centre, according a statement by local officials.

27 buildings have been destroyed, including a five-star hotel have been destroyed on the Island which is popular with British and Portuguese holiday makers. Flights have also been disrupted at Funchal airport.

Firefighters have struggled to control the blaze on the island off north-west Africa because of high temperatures and strong winds. Footage has shown locals attempting to douse fires with their own domestic hoses.

The BBC reported lower temperatures expected on Wednesday were expected to ease the situation.

Temperatures in excess of 35C have led to more than Twelve major fires, in mainland Portugal, most of them in the north-west of the country.

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