Google Flood Hub extends to 80 countries, including Greece, providing forecasts to 460 million people for up to 7 days before a flood.
As stated in a related announcement, natural disasters, such as floods, are constantly increasing in frequency and intensity due to climate change, threatening the safety and living conditions of the population.
According to estimates, catastrophic floods affect more than 250 million people worldwide each year, causing approximately $10 billion in damages.
Protecting 460 million people in 80 countries - How it works
As part of its effort to harness Artificial Intelligence to tackle the climate crisis, Google today announced that it is expanding its flood forecasting systems to 80 countries.
So, with the addition of 60 new countries from across Europe (including parts of Greece), Africa, the Asia-Pacific region, as well as South and Central America, the Flood Hub platform now includes some of the regions of the world with greater exposure to risks from flooding or other extreme weather events, protecting 460 million people around the globe.
Flood Hub can be used by governments, aid organisations and individual users to take early action and prepare for potential flooding by accessing 7-day depth data and forecasts. This is a significant improvement over last year, where such information was only available at a depth of 48 hours.
Flood Hub's AI system uses a number of different public information sources such as weather reports and satellite images.
It then combines two models: the Hydrologic Model, which predicts the amount of water flowing in a river, and the Inundation Model, which predicts which areas will be affected and how high the waters will reach.
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In 2018, it launched the flood forecasting system in India, then expanded it to Bangladesh to help deal with the devastating floods that occur there every year.
Thanks to the progress made in global prediction systems through Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, in 2022 Google was able to make this technology available in 18 additional countries, paving the way for global expansion.
Flood Hub is part of Google's Crisis Response program to provide authoritative information and resources in times of crisis - such as floods, fires and earthquakes.
For more than a decade, he has been working with emergency response teams to develop technology and programs that help protect, inform and prevent the world from being exposed to risk.
Additionally, in support of communities that are most vulnerable to flooding but may not have access to smartphones or the Internet, Google.org is partnering with organisations such as the Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Indian Red Cross Society and Yale University's Inclusion Economics team, to create offline early warning networks of specially trained, willing and trusted volunteers, which will multiply the reach of messages of Flood Hub.
According to recent data from the Yale team and the NGO Yuganter, communities that have local volunteers are 50 percent more likely to receive alerts before waters reach their area—which could prove fatal for many.