The landslide destroyed part of the clifftop cemetery building, as well as two private chapels, perched high on a cliff in the town of Camogli.
A video shot by cemetery workers and shared by Italian media captured the moment the structure collapsed.
#Camogli. Il video del #crollo del #cimitero da parte di alcuni operai che si erano messi in sicurezza poco prima che il fronte collassasse. pic.twitter.com/eFxCeEPWxb
— Babboleo News (@BabboleoNews) February 22, 2021
Rescue teams are attempting to recover the coffins, many of which ended up in the sea and on the rocks 50 metres below the cemetary.
The landslide appears to have been the result of coastal erosion, which has reportedly been aggravated by storms over the past few years.
The town's residents say that “every hundred years the cliff changes its skin”, La Repubblica writes, as landslides are not unusual along the rocky Ligurian coastlline.