Google is no stranger to giving people information during natural disasters – the company incorporated alerts into the Maps and Search features for quite some time and now the company is capable of making predictions by itself.
Google has joined forces with the Central Water Commission of India and it will now be able to alert the Indian users about impending floods. For the time being, the service is only available to the Patna region and has already gone live with its first alert earlier this September.
Google has chosen India to test out the flood alert efforts because the country is where 20% of global flood-related fatalities happen.
The company is using AI and a serious chunk of computational power in order to create forecasting models that can accurately predict when the floods will happen. The system employs the use of data about historical events, river level readings, terrain and elevation, in order to make its predictions. Maps are then generated and thousands of simulations are performed for every location.
After all that is done, the result is the most accurate model it can predict, not only about where the flood might happen but also about how severe it might prove to be.
In time, Google plans to expand coverage to other parts of the world and help people stay safe and informed during all kinds of natural disasters.