Google has been working to avert flood-related disasters through its Google Flood Initiative. Through the initiative, the company has been collaborating with governments to predict when and where floods can occur. So far, Google has sent out as many as 30 million notifications to people in flood-affected areas to help but now it is now expanding the initiative.
Google’s flood prediction and awareness work have largely centered on India where millions of people get affected every year. The company recently started working on expanding its forecasting models and services in partnership with the Indian Central Water Commission. The new plan by Google will help India cover 200 million people in the country. The coverage of Google has improved to 250,000 square kilometres which 20x more than its coverage last year.
This year, the company has launched a new forecasting model that allows it to double lead time of many alerts. The faster lead times will give people an extra day or so to prepare and raise alarm before a flood hits.
Google is also expanding its Flood Forecasting Initiative to Bangladesh which is the worst flood-affected nation in the world. The company has partnered with the Bangladesh Water Development Board to bring its warning services to the country.
Google.org too has partnered with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to create local networks to get the disaster information to those who cannot receive smartphone alerts.
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