Google will now be posting flood alerts in India through Google Public Alerts that will be accessible through Google Now cards, Google Maps and Google search results.
Upon clicking on a flood alert, which will be shown on both computers and mobile devices, users will receive information regarding the flood's details, along with the map to show where the affected area is, a timeline on how long it would take for the flood to subside and tips on how users can keep themselves safe.
The service will be utilizing data coming from India's Central Water Commission (CWC), and will inform users of flood alerts along with river level data for the more than 170 areas where the CWC has established active observation stations.
Flood alerts were deemed to be important by Google as flooding has caused widespread damage in many parts of India over recent months. According to the CWC, 7.21 million hectares go under floodwater per year, with the water ravaging 3.78 million hectares of agricultural land annually. In addition, almost 1,700 lives are lost due to flooding and heavy rains per year.
In addition to the flood alerts, Google is continuously working on improvements for Google Crisis Response to increase the accessibility of important information concerning natural disasters. Through Public Alerts, in addition to flood alerts for India, the company is able to disseminate information such as weather reports, earthquake alerts and public safety announcements that will allow users to make better decisions for their own sake.
Google cited cyclone alerts as an example, which the company launched last year. Cyclone alerts provide information such as the expected impact area of the cyclone, the estimated arrival time and safety tips, which would help users within or near the cyclone to plan their evacuation accordingly.
"By making critical and life-saving information more widely available to people around India, we want to help more people prepare for natural disasters, and hopefully protect more lives together," Google India writes in the blog post announcing the launch of flood alerts in the country.
Google India also expressed its appreciation for the CWC in providing information for flood alerts and to the India Meteorological Department for providing information on cyclone alerts.