Brazil partners up with Google to issue flood warnings
BRASILIA. KAZINFORM A partnership between Google and the Geological Service of Brazil (SGB), unveiled in Florianópolis, Santa Catarina state, should enable the issuance of river flood alerts in the country. The system combines data such as river water levels, meteorological indicators, and satellite images.
Residents in over 60 locations will be provided information in real time. In the coming months, alerts and forecasts should cover more regions, Agencia Brasil reports.
When browsing Google Maps, conducting search queries, or accessing the new platform FloodHub, users will receive alerts and forecasts on river conditions. Rapid flooding, which occurs in cities near the river source, are not covered. Gradual flood data should also be made available, with additional data, for example, on how much water is expected to rise in a given period, allowing people to move away more quickly.
A United Nations report shows that Brazilians are among the most exposed to the risks of river flooding in the world. Between 2000 and 2019, more than 70 million people were affected by floods in the country.
«We have observed a global increase in the frequency of disasters and critical events due to climate change and, as part of the efforts in this field, we have developed products that bring reliable information to people in critical moments in a bid to keep them safe before, during, and after these events happen,» says Luisa Phebo, Google's Social Impact Partnerships leader.
«The advantage of this partnership lies in expanding the dissemination of the information generated and in taking advantage of Google's programming capabilities, expanding expand these forecasts to other locations in Brazil in the future,» says Alice Castilho, SGB's Director for Hydrology.
A public company linked to the Ministry of Mines and Energy, SBG operates hydrological alert systems in 17 basins within the Brazilian territory, monitoring rainfall, river levels, and hydrological risk maps. This information is periodically sent to civil defense agencies, state, and municipal public agents, and the general population.
«Currently, these data are on the site of the Geological Service of Brazil. We have the photos, the levels in real time, and the reports, also in real time. Anyone can have access to it, but it is not so easy. It’s not so palatable,» said Artur Matos, coordinator of the SGB’s hydrological alert system.