With climate change, natural disasters like flooding are becoming increasingly common. In order to try to reduce the impact, Google developed the Flood Hub platform that predicts floods. This month, it became available in 60 new countries, including Portugal.
The tool uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) that through various publicly available data sources, such as weather data and satellite imagery, predicts whether flooding may occur, giving alerts. Google is working to expand flood forecast alerts to Search and Maps.
Flood Hub ‘s technology uses two models, the hydrological model, which predicts how much water flows into a river, and the flood model, which predicts which areas will be affected and how high the water level will be.
Google’s flood forecasting started in India in 2018 and was then expanded to Bangladesh. Thanks to advances in global AI prediction models, it was possible to expand to 18 countries in 2022 and now to 60 more, so the platform is available in 80 countries around the world.
In addition, to support communities vulnerable to flooding that may not have access to the internet, Google.org collaborates with organizations like the Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Yale University’s Inclusion Economics team to create alert networks with community volunteers. This way, Flood Hub warnings reach more people.
Google has been developing several tools to help navigate climate change, and has recently started providing information about heat waves and making available videos that show the impact of climate change on the world.