Last year, flooding in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country engulfed nearly the whole country affecting more than 31 out of 36 states in the country.
The floods, caused by unusual rainfalls and climate changes are not peculiar to just Nigeria. It’s estimated that flooding affects more than 250 million people globally each year and causes around $10 billion in economic damages.
In a bid to curtail the effect of climate change and flooding globally, Google has expanded its flood forecasting capabilities to 80 countries. The company's Flood Hub platform now covers territories across Africa, the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, and South and Central America, encompassing 460 million people globally.
Google's Flood Hub platform provides governments, aid organizations, and individuals with timely and locally relevant flood data and forecasts. This information can be used to take proactive measures and prepare for riverine floods up to seven days in advance.
In addition to providing online access, Google.org collaborates with organizations like the Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Indian Red Cross Society to establish offline alerting networks in communities vulnerable to floods, the tech giant said in a blog post.
These networks, operated by trained and incentivized community volunteers, amplify Flood Hub's warnings, ensuring that even those without internet access or smartphones receive crucial flood alerts. Google's efforts to help communities prepare for and respond to flooding are part of its Crisis Response initiative.