Google to offer ‘Flood Alerts’ on maps, for India


Technology giant Google will make public emergency alerts for floods available in India as part its efforts to make critical information more accessible around natural disasters. According to Google the users in India can now find ‘flood alerts’ along with ‘river level’ information for more than 170 areas in which the Central Water Commission (CWC) has active observation stations. These alerts are available on web search, Google Now Cards on the Google app, maps as well as Google Public Alerts homepage. These can be accessed on desktop and mobile devices. The alerts will be created and shared using data provided by the CWC.

To explain further Google Product Manager Payal Patel, said “Timely information is the first step in disaster preparedness and has the potential to save thousands of lives lost to natural disasters each year. By making critical information more widely available to people, Flood Alerts will enable citizens across the country to make quicker and more informed decisions”.

Similarly, in 2015 Google introduced ‘cyclone alerts’ to show information about cyclones in India. It offers information with details about the hazards, including a map and expected timeline, as well as tips on how to stay safe. Among all natural disasters that occur in India, floods are the most common. Chronic floods during the monsoon season on an average affect more than 30 million Indiana annually.

According to the Central Water Commission (CWC), on an average 7.21 million hectares go under floodwater annually. This water typically ravages 3.78 million hectares of agriculture land, damaging crops worth Rs.1,118 crore annually. Heavy rains also accounts lives lost, houses damages, livestock damage and much more.

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