The Camogli Cemetery, built more than 100 years ago, is located along an area of rocky cliffs by the sea. Francesco Olivari, the mayor of Camogli, called the collapse an “unimaginable disaster.”
It is estimated that 200 coffins had fallen, but only 10 have been recovered, according to Giacomo Giampedrone, regional assessor of civil protection. Recovering the rest of them “depends on the sea in the coming days,” he added.
On Saturday, maintenance carried out along the fragile coastal area was abruptly stopped when workers noticed cracks in the rock.
“We were working on part of the rocky coast – it was close to the area that fell today,” Olivari told CNN on Monday. “Some signs of cracks were seen. We decided to close the cemetery.”
He said they called officials in the Ligurian Civil Protection Office to intervene and evaluate the situation. A team of geologists at the department is using drones to get a better sense of the damage and determine if there is a danger of another landslide.
“This type of collapse that happened today is very difficult to detect or predict,” Olivari said. “This area is subject to this type of collapse – it is very fragile.”
Giampedrone said the Genoa port authority blocked the coastal area under the cemetery on Monday night to prevent the coffins from flowing out to sea.
Tuesday after the investigation of the site, officials said they will continue work on recovering coffins and corpses.