BORGHETTO DI VARA, Italy -- Eight people died in floods as heavy rains hit northern Italy, devastating the famous Cinque Terre region, a world heritage site popular with tourists.

Six people died in Borghetto di Vara and two in Aulla, both on Italy's northwestern coast, with several more missing, TG24 reported Wednesday.

More than 20 inches of rain reportedly fell in the region Tuesday within a few hours, flooding rivers, collapsing bridges, causing landslides and isolating entire villages.

Many people were left without electricity and phone networks, and transport links were devastated, with many roads impassible and railroads blocked by landslides.

Around 30 people in the Brugnato area were rescued by monks from a nearby monastery, who provided shelter to them, fed them and gave them dry clothes, AFP reported.

Two tourists who were reported missing in Vernazza, one of the five villages that make up the historic Cinque Terre region, were found safe, according to Italian news agency ANSA.

The bad weather was expected to spread to the rest of Italy on Wednesday.