Google has announced the expansion of its Flood Hub platform, a tool that provides accurate and timely flood forecasts, to cover 80 countries worldwide
The expansion includes the addition of 8 new countries in Africa, bringing the total number of African countries on the Flood Hub to 23.
The Flood Hub platform uses artificial intelligence and satellite data to predict where and when floods will occur, up to 7 days in advance. It also offers interactive maps that show the extent and severity of flooding in different areas. The platform aims to help governments, aid organisations, and individuals prepare for and respond to floods, which are among the most devastating natural disasters in the world.
According to Google, the Flood Hub platform now benefits a population of 460 million people globally, with a focus on regions with high flood risk and limited resources. The expansion extends the reach of the platform to countries such as Brazil, Nigeria, Pakistan and Thailand.
In Africa, the Flood Hub platform has been available in several countries prior to this 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. The new countries that have been added are Burundi, Eswatini, Guinea Bissau, Lesotho, Madagascar, Rwanda, Senegal, and Zimbabwe. These countries face high flood risk and extreme weather conditions that can have severe impacts on their communities and livelihoods.
To further enhance flood preparedness, Google is also expanding flood alerts through Search and Maps notifications, ensuring that individuals have convenient access to critical flood information. This expansion aims to empower more people to take necessary precautions and safeguard lives and property.
“We recognise the significant impact that floods have on communities worldwide, especially in regions with limited resources and vulnerable populations,” said Yossi Mattias, VP Engineering & Research and Crisis Response Lead. “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.”
Since 2019, Google has also been working with nonprofit organisations to establish offline alerting networks that leverage trained and trusted community volunteers who play a crucial role in amplifying the reach of Flood Hub’s warnings. These networks are designed to ensure that even individuals without digital connectivity are able to receive life-saving flood alerts.
The Flood Hub platform is part of Google’s broader efforts to use technology for social good and address global challenges such as climate change and disaster resilience.