Tropical Storm Julia swamps El Salvador

Tropical storm Julia passed along the length of El Salvador's Pacific Coast Sunday night into Monday, bringing with it torrential rains and flooding throughout the entire country.   

As the storm approached on Sunday, red alerts were declared in every region of the small Central American country and president Nayib Bukele declared a national day of prayer.

As of 12:30 PM local time on Monday, the death toll stood at 9.   The largest single tragedy involved the death of 5 soldiers when they were buried under a mudslide in Comasagua.  The soldiers had been part of an ongoing security operation which has cordoned off the municipality for more than a week. Two people died when a retaining wall collapsed in Morazan, another when a tree fell on a house and a motorcyclist died in an accident when a flooded current caused him to lose control.

Rainfall totals through 7 a.m. on Monday

Widespread flooding appeared first in the eastern part of the country, but as the storm continued its path to the west, so did the flooding.  More than 1000 people were in shelters as of 8 a.m. on Monday.

Roads were blocked with fallen trees in many areas.  Schools were closed on Monday and Tuesday, and many businesses did not open.

With rains continuing throughout Monday afternoon, damages continue to mount and the total toll which Julia has wreaked on El Salvador will not be known for days.  

The Rio Grande south of San Miguel overflowed its banks as it has done many times in the past.

Water rescue in San Miguel

More from San Miguel

At the site of the mudslide in Comasagua where 5 soldiers perished

Pasaquina in the eastern department of La Union.

Rio El Tunco which flows into the Pacific at "Surf City"

Flooding took away a bridge in Dolores in the department of Cabanas in the north of the counry.

The government communications department has already starting pushing out videos celebrating its response to the disaster