SAN SALVADOR (AFP) - Floods and landslides left at least 130 people dead in El Salvador on Monday after a late-season hurricane ravaged parts of Central America and took aim for the United States. Landslides and overflowing rivers carried away houses, while a raging torrent ripped through an entire section of one town. Some of the bodies were taken to a chapel and covered in mud-caked sheets. All we heard in the morning was loud noise, Arnoldo Paz, a resident of Verapaz in the central region of the country, told AFP. It was a torrent of water and mud that swept away everything in its path. All I could do was tell my wife to grab the kids and flee. He said his house had been swept away by the current. Although Hurricane Ida did not hit El Salvador directly, it brought heavy rain that affected the entire region. The storm was crossing the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, heading toward the US. President Mauricio Funes declared a state of emergency late Sunday due to rains and flooding in the Pacific coast country of some seven million people. Today is a very sad day for the country and its government, in fact it is one of the most tragic days in memory, Funes said in a televised address to the nation. Civil Protection Service Director Jorge Melendez said Monday the death toll had risen to 130 from 124, and that more than 10,000 people were in shelters, with more than 1,700 homes damaged or destroyed and 1,400 in high-risk conditions.Foreign Minister Hugo Martinez sought to reassure his compatriots by saying El Salvador was not facing the tragedy alone, and that international help was on the way. Heavy rains have caused mudslides and flooding in various areassince Thursday. Most of the deaths have occurred in the areas of San Salvador, La Libertad, Cuscatlan, La Paz and San Vicente. The President said the state of emergency will allow his government access to special funds necessary to provide assistance to disaster areas. But he stopped short of saying how much money would be spent to help victims and repair the damage. Melendez said the rains were also caused by a pocket of low atmospheric pressure that had formed over the region as the hurricane, now a category one storm, approached from the Caribbean. Melendez added that there could be more fatalities in the eastern regions of Verapaz and Tepetitan. In Tepetitan, landslides and overflowing rivers carried away some 30 houses, authorities said. Some residents had agreed to evacuate the area, but a number refused to leave their homes, according to Mayor Ana Jovel.