Rescue workers carry residents of Marumori, Miyagi Prefecture, to a waiting helicopter from their flooded homes following Typhoon No. 19. The Marumori town government building is also surrounded by water. (Video footage provided by Japan Coast Guard and also taken by Natsuki Kubokoya)

The death toll from Typhoon No. 19 reached 34 on Oct. 14, according to calculations by The Asahi Shimbun, but authorities say the full scale of the disaster that hit 36 prefectures remains unknown.

At least 15 people were missing as of about noon on Oct. 14, while rescue efforts continued through the night on hard-hit areas of eastern Japan.

Hundreds of people were trapped in their homes by flooding caused mainly by overflowing rivers.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism said the embankments of 21 rivers that it administers in various prefectures had been breached, leading to flooding in large segments of the local communities.

Flooding was also reported at 142 other rivers administered by either the central or prefectural governments.

The fatalities occurred in 10 prefectures in the Kanto and Tohoku regions.

Eight people in Miyagi, seven in Fukushima and four each in Tochigi, Kanagawa and Gunma prefectures were reported dead from the effects of the typhoon.

Four people each in Nagano and Kanagawa prefectures were still listed as missing.

A total of 1,697 homes in various prefectures had flooding above the floor level, while 1,666 had flooding below the floor level.

In addition, a cargo ship registered in Panama sank in Tokyo Bay during the typhoon on the evening of Oct. 12, leaving five crew members dead and three others missing.

Those living in the flooded areas were caught unprepared for the rapid rush of water into their homes.

One family of four adults in Nagano city lived in a home about 2 kilometers from the Hoyasu district where the embankment of the Chikumagawa had been breached.

Within minutes of realizing something was wrong at around 6:30 a.m., the first floor of the two-floor structure was flooded with waist-level water.

The four family members fled to the second floor and the father, Atsuo Miyazawa, 78, began waving a towel to gain the attention of helicopters flying overhead.

At around 11:30 a.m., rescue workers lifted the four to a waiting helicopter, which was already occupied by a young man and two dogs. The helicopter later rescued a wailing 3-year-old girl before landing about 10 minutes later.

However, Nagano prefectural government officials said that as of late Oct. 13, at least 38 people were trapped in their flooded homes and about 200 others were waiting to be rescued from inundated hospitals and nursing-care facilities.