The landslide caused a macabre footprint in northwestern Italy as hundreds of coffins tumbled from their last, or last planned, resting places in the sea in the village of Camogli near Genoa on Monday.

The BBC reported that up to a couple of hundred chests and two chapels previously located in the cemetery ended up in the sea.

The landslide damaged the cemetery in Camogli.Photo: VVFF / ZumaPress / MVPhotos

Up to 200 coffins ended up in the sea. Image: VVFF / Zumapress / Mvphotos

In the accident cemetery, the deceased are blessed in the traditional Italian way with vaulted tombs consisting of several overlapping floors.

Cemetery workers woke up on Monday to the fact that the walls of the tombs began to vibrate and crack.

Eventually, some of the structures collapsed into the sea.

A dramatic video depicting the event has been posted on the instant messaging service Twitter.

Along with the tombs and coffins, a lot of soil spilled into the sea, causing the water to turn thick brown.

The mayor of the fishing village, Francesco Olivari, has described the event as an incredible catastrophe, which is certainly from the point of view of the deceased blessed to rest in the grave and their relatives.

In an interview with CNN, Mayor Olivari said it would have been difficult to predict the tragedy that would have occurred.

Not all the coffins collapsed with the land masses all the way to the sea but were badly damaged on a steep slope. Photo: Genova24 / Zumapress / Mvphotos

Only a fraction of the coffins that ended up at sea were caught ashore immediately after the accident.Photo: Genova24 / Zumapress / Mvphotos

However, according to the authorities, the risk of a landslide had already been identified days earlier, when anomalous noises had started to be heard from the area and cracks had been observed in the cliff.

Part of the area had been isolated.

After the landslide, rescue workers isolated the sea area to prevent coffins from floating off the coast.

Despite the clearing operation, only a fraction of the coffins that ended up at sea were rescued fresh after the landslide.

Coffins rescued by water.Image: Giuseppe Risso / Zumapress / Mvphotos

The large number of coffins that ended up at sea is explained by the traditional Italian method of burial. Image: LiguriaReg / Zumapress / Mvphotos