By CHRIS JEWERS FOR MAILONLINE

An Italian cliff-top cemetery has collapsed into the ocean, with dozens of coffins floating off into the  Mediterranean and many others feared to have been buried under the rubble. 

Pictures from the scene showed coffins in the water among the debris, some 160 feet below the top of the cliff

The landslide struck on Monday at around 3pm in Camogli, a tourist resort near the north-west city of Genoa, dragging around 200 coffins down the cliff and destroying two chapels at the burial ground.

Pictures from the aftermath showed a large portion of the cliff collapsed into the sea, with coffins among the rubble and debris floating some 160ft below.

Hundreds of coffins were swept into the sea on Monday when a landslide destroyed part of a cemetery on the Italian riviera.

A video shot by cemetery workers and shared by Italian media captured the moment the structure collapsed.

Efforts are underway to save as many of the coffins as possible, as relatives of those buried in the cemetery face an anxious wait to find out if their loved ones’ remains were among those to be swallowed by the landslide. 

The portion of the cliff, on top of which the Camogli was built, that collapsed into the sea on Monday. It is feared that around 200 coffins have been dragged into the ocean with the landslide

Further down the cliff from the cemetery, there are also ten houses, three of which are reportedly inhabited. The residents of the houses were offered temporary accommodation by city officials following the collapse.

Creaks had already been heard on Sunday, giving locals a sense of what was coming, with the area that has now collapsed being cordoned off. Rock climbers had also already been surveying the cliff.

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