Google expands flood alerts to 80 countries, including 8 in Africa

2 Min Read

Google, has expanded its Flood Hub platform to cover 80 countries worldwide including the addition of 8 new countries in Africa.

According to Google, the expansion came as part of AI-enabled efforts to address the devastating impacts of floods and provide critical support to vulnerable communities. The Flood Hub platform now offers forecasts up to 7 days in advance, benefitting a population of 460 million people globally.

The Flood Hub platform has been available in several African countries before this expansion, including Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, South Africa. The expansion brings the total number of African countries covered by the platform to 23.

How Google flood alert works

To provide flood forecasting, Google monitors historical and real-time water level measurements and precipitation forecasts. It uses data that is either publicly available or available to Google through partnerships with local governments. Based on this information, Google runs run 2 main types of machine-learning models:

Hydrologic models: Provides forecasts of river water levels for upcoming days.

Inundation models: Provides forecasts for the flood extent on the ground. This information tells us who to notify and helps us provide flood maps on Google Maps.

Once an upcoming flood is identified, Google sends notifications. Notifications go to people who have their smartphone location services turned on and who are located in an area that is flooded or expected to flood.

Google added that the expansion aims to empower more people to take necessary precautions and safeguard lives and property.

Share this Article
Leave a comment