When confronted with the opportunity of a pure calamity, individuals in susceptible places can scale back the catastrophe administration efforts required if they’re alerted forward of time. Late final 12 months, Google leveraged its prowess in AI to launch Flood Hub, a flood forecasting utility that may alert individuals of impending floods. Now, Flood Hub is increasing assist to trace flooding threats in 60 extra international locations.

Google estimates that floods alone trigger $10 billion in financial damages worldwide, immediately impacting 250 million individuals. In November final 12 months, Flood Hub debuted, powered by an AI mannequin educated on information from a number of drainage basins. The unique mannequin might warn individuals in India and Bangladesh as much as every week upfront — an amazing benefit over earlier prediction methods which solely gave individuals a 48-hour window to organize. By the top of the 12 months, assist had prolonged to twenty international locations.


Now, Flood Hub helps 80 international locations due to 60 latest additions to the checklist. Coated areas embrace international locations in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and South and Central America. Google estimates this enlargement may also help impression 460 million individuals who stay in flood-prone areas. On the time of writing, the Search big is monitoring over 1,800 places throughout river basins.

Google is now working to make the data from Flood Hub obtainable in Search and Maps as properly — locations the place individuals are probably to lookup such stats in occasions of want. This can be a big step ahead in serving to communities up their catastrophe preparedness. Nevertheless, Google solely tracks riverine floods for the time being, and never flash floods or coastal occasions. There’s room for enchancment and Google acknowledges it.

Apart from floods, the corporate additionally leverages AI and satellite tv for pc imagery to trace wildfires and alert individuals in peril. Final we checked, the system is operational in Mexico, the US, Canada, and areas of Australia.