More than 1500 Indians lost their lives due to extreme weather in 2020 — Google wants to lend a hand to fix it
- At the
Google for Indiaevent today, various features and announcements were made for Indian users.
- It announced new features for education, payments, search tools and weather conditions.
- Here’s a look at all the climate-related efforts
AdvertisementGoogle today held its seventh ‘Google for India’ event where the company announced new features and initiatives for Indian users. A series of announcements were made including new features for Google Classrooms, support for five more Indian languages on Look to Speak, 15 billion annual transactions on Google Pay and more. Google also announced new initiatives as part of its climate-related efforts in India.
In the last year, over 1,500 people lost lives in India due to weather conditions, according to data from the Indian Meteorological Department. Google wants to help Indians prepare better for these severe weather events, and help prevent the loss of lives. Google is developing a range of climate related features in collaboration with local authorities, Nofar Peled Levi, Product Manager, Crisis Response & Weather, said during the Google for India event.
Google in partnership with the Indian Meteorological Department has launched ‘Weather Alerts’ for extreme climatic conditions. Users will get weather alerts like ‘Severe Rainfall Alert’ or for weather conditions like heat wave, cold wave and thunderstorms. Google will display these alerts on the weather widget on Android phones. These alerts will also appear on top of Google Search results in red. It will also show alerts for less severe weather conditions in Search. Users will also be able to ask Google Assistant for weather reports and get spoken alerts.
Another major area that Google is doubling down in India is floods. The company is working with local authorities on developing flood related efforts. Levi said that Google has doubled the alert lead time for floods, and that it has covered 175 of the local affected population. Google has also sent out 110 million notifications which reached 20 million affected people at the start of the monsoon season this year, Levi added.
Google has also partnered with the Centre of Pollution Control Board in India to help users get the latest updates on air quality information. By searching for air quality information in Google Search, users will see detailed updates. The search results will show places with their air quality index on Google Maps, and also highlight areas with the worst air quality at present.
Google has been working with local authorities for its climate-related efforts in India, and it has seen some results in the past few years. Levi said that over 65% of users in India who received weather alerts took action. In August this year, Google alerted people in Sahebganj which is located in Muzaffarpur, Bihar about incoming floods. Levi said this information helped people safely evacuate the place in due time.
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