HANOI, Vietnam -- Officials said search efforts to find a bus with 19 people swept away by high waters are being hampered by raging currents in central Vietnam as the overall death toll from flooding reaches 39.

Phan Van Dan, police chief of Nghi Xuan District in Ha Tinh province, said 18 other people on the bus swam to safety or were rescued after clinging to trees and power poles, including one who emerged later Monday.

The bus was yanked off the main highway while traveling from the central highland province of Dak Nong to the northern province of Nam Dinh early Monday morning.

The bus did not heed warnings from police who were diverting traffic from the road.

Dan said the driver survived and was being questioned by police. (AP)