AI-based System to Forecast Flood in Chennai Week in Advance

AI-based System to Forecast Flood in Chennai Week in Advance

C-Flows or Chennai Flood Warning System can forecast flooding five days to a week in advance so it gives authorities sufficient time to plan evacuation.

When the sluices of Chembarambakkam reservoir were opened following heavy rain in December 2015, there was no warning from the authorities and the residents had no clue a devastating flood was on its way.

This monsoon, artificial intelligence may play a crucial role in keeping the city better prepared.

c flows.jpgThat’s when C-Flows or Chennai Flood Warning System, which can forecast flooding five days to a week in advance, will be put to test. Developed by scientists from National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR), it will give authorities sufficient time to plan evacuation. Integrated with numerical models, this GIS-based decision support system will be able to forecast flooding in any locality, ward, street or even building in the city along with evacuation routes. To run the model, scientists require data on weather, surge and tide prediction, hydrology condition, water levels and discharge from rivers and reservoirs apart from basic information on the topography including elevation, moisture and drainage condition. 

In about 30 minutes to an hour, authorities will get an output in the form of maps, texts and numbers, some of them in 3D visual formats. "We are in the process of signing an MoU with the state government, and C-Flows will be operated in test mode this northeast monsoon. The prediction from the system will be validated with data collected from the field," said NCCR director MV Ramanamurthy.

C-Flows comes with a database of more than 700 flood situations based on rainfall for various return periods, tidal conditions, etc. Once data on weather forecast and tide is fed, the system will pick the most relevant situation. Inundation models will also run on a real-time basis to simulate the ground situation based on actual datasets from IMD and NCMRWF, INCOIS. According to NCCR, Chennai is more vulnerable to floods than cities like Bengaluru. "Compared to Goa and Bengaluru the elevation in Chennai is less. So, water cannot drain into the sea fast. When it rains heavy during high tide, water cannot evaporate and will flood laterally into the land. Adding to this, high precipitation and release of water from reservoirs make the city vulnerable to floods," he explained.

C-Flows is a culmination of the project initiated by the office of the principal scientific advisor to the Centre and institutes like IIT-B, IIT-M, IRS-Anna University, NCMRWF and IMD. It will be made operational along with the TN government next year.

Source: Gadgets Now