Google launched a new forecasting model that will allow it to double the lead time of many of its alerts providing more notice to governments in India and Bangladesh and giving tens of millions of people an extra day or so to prepare.
For several years, the Google Flood Forecasting Initiative has been working with governments to develop systems that predict when and where flooding will occur and keep people safe and informed.
The company said it has been expanding its forecasting models and services in partnership with the Indian Central Water Commission.
“In June, just in time for the monsoon season, we reached an important milestone: our systems now extend to the whole of India, with Google technology being used to improve the targeting of every alert the government sends,” the company said in a blog post.
It means more than 200 million people across more than 250,000 square kilometers can be benefitted.
“To date, we’ve sent out around 30 million notifications to people in flood-affected areas,” in India, Google said.
As many as 17 people died while over 14 lakh people in 20 districts were affected due to floods in Odisha, the state government said on Sunday.
In addition to expanding in India, said Google, it has partnered with the Bangladesh Water Development Board to bring our warnings and services to that country.
“We currently cover more than 40 million people in Bangladesh, and we’re working to extend this to the whole country,” the company said.
In addition to improving its alerts, Google.org has started a collaboration with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
“This partnership aims to build local networks that can get disaster alert information to people who wouldn’t otherwise receive smartphone alerts directly,” Google said.