Tech giant, Google has announced the expansion of its flood hub platform to cover 80 countries worldwide, including eight other new countries in Africa.
The expansion came as part of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled efforts to address the devastating impacts of floods and provide critical support to vulnerable communities.
To date, 23 African countries are on the flood hub as the platform now offers forecasts up to seven days in advance, benefitting a population of 460million people globally. The expansion extends the reach of flood hub’s valuable services to countries such as Brazil, Nigeria, Pakistan and Thailand.
The flood hub platform had been available in several African countries prior to the expansion, including Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, South Africa, and now, with the expansion, it encompasses 60 additional countries. The new countries are Burundi, Eswatini, Guinea Bissau, Lesotho, Madagascar, Rwanda, Senegal, and Zimbabwe.
The inclusion of these countries ensures that a broader range of African communities facing high flood risk and extreme weather conditions can benefit from flood hub’s accurate and timely flood forecasting services.
Floods claim lives and causes damages each year across the world with severe impacts in low-resource regions that often lack effective early warning systems. Therefore, by equipping governments, aid organisations, and individuals with advanced flood forecasting tools, flood hub empowers communities to take proactive measures and make informed decisions to reduce the devastating effects of floods.
According to VP Engineering & Research and Crisis Response Lead, Yossi Mattias, Google recognises the significant impact that floods have on communities worldwide, especially in regions with limited resources and vulnerable populations.
To further enhance flood preparedness, Google is expanding flood alerts through Search and Maps notifications, ensuring that individuals have convenient access to timely and critical flood information.
This expansion, according to Mattias aims to empower more people to take necessary precautions and safeguard lives and property.
“We are committed to expanding the reach of the flood hub platform to support these communities and provide accurate flood forecasting that can help save lives and protect livelihoods.”