Camogli Cemetery, built more than 100 years ago, is located along rocky coastal cliffs. Francesco Olivari, the mayor of Camogli, called the collapse an “unimaginable disaster.”
Giacomo Giampedrone, a regional civil protection surveyor, said an estimated 200 coffins were killed, but only 10 were recovered. Recovering the others “depends on the sea in the days to come,” he added.
On Saturday, maintenance along the fragile coast was abruptly halted when workers noticed cracks in the rock.
“We worked on a part of the rocky shore – it was close to the rainy area today,” Olivari told CNN on Monday. – There were some signs of cracks. We decided to close the cemetery.
He said officials from the Ligurian Civil Protection Office had been called in to intervene and assess the situation. A group of geologists in the department are using drones to better understand the damage and determine if there is a risk of another landslide.
“This kind of collapse that happened today is very difficult to recognize or predict,” Olivari said. “This area is prone to this type of collapse – very fragile.”
Giampedrone said the Genoa port authority closed the coastal area under the cemetery on Monday night to prevent coffins from swimming at sea.
On Tuesday, after surveying the scene, officials said they would continue work to recover the coffins and corpses.