IBM announced that it has teamed with the Indian state of Tamil Nadu to establish an innovative, cloud-based intelligent operations command center to better prepare for and respond to disruptive, extreme weather events.
Built using IBM Cloud and analytics technologies and services, the new IBM Intelligent Operations Center for Emergency Management, which will be located in Chennai, is designed to help mitigate the devastating negative impact of natural disasters, including annual monsoon-related flooding.
The cloud-based Center, made possible by an IBM grant, will enable Tamil Nadu State to pool time-sensitive data from various sources, including weather forecasts, current conditions, and historical data from The Weather Company, an IBM Business, to help track and gauge weather patterns as early as possible.The Center will collect power, traffic, health service, and shelter information from municipal sources, and display the current data on a map shared by multiple government agencies. All processing and analysis will be conducted in IBM’s cloud data center in Chennai.
In addition to cloud technologies, and current and historical weather data, IBM analytics will help the city predict where storms are likely to strike and their potential effect on the infrastructure, including utilities, roads and canals, as well as personal and public property. The Center will also analyze potential situations and outcomes, and provide guidance for optimal response to help officials prepare for and deliver needed resources more quickly and effectively. City and state agencies can use the data to better coordinate responses and deploy resources quickly while emergency personnel and first responders will be able to report disaster conditions on the front lines with greater ease.
For example, based on IBM’s support, public works officials will be able to assess the potential impact of rising water in a local canal and effectively coordinate with agencies to deploy emergency resources when water is released into an adjoining waterway. The solution can show water flow at current and projected rates, including waterways, reservoirs and flood areas.
“IBM’s Impact Grant to the Government of Tamil Nadu – one of 400 grants we will award this year – demonstrates our corporate commitment to providing innovative analytics, mobile and cloud technology that can assist at all phases of disaster, help governments in India address future disasters, and best meet the needs of its citizens.” said Amit Sharma, Chief Operations Officer, IBM India.
With an estimated market value of $2 million, the IBM Impact Grant to the Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency (TNeGA) comes with two years of technical and operations support, including an IBM-led transition team. The company has provided similar technology to the Philippine Department of Science & Technology in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. Since 2001, IBM has responded to more than 50 disasters in 33 countries.
IBM’s assistance comes after the state capital of Chennai faced one of the worst floods in over a century in late 2015. In the aftermath of the storm, IBM provided immediate funding support to four community non-profits working to provide critical disaster relief and recovery for Chennai residents, including SOS Children’s Villages’ rehabilitation of 150 flood-affected families in Nagapattinam and Puducherry, Action Aid’s assistance of families in early recovery, particularly those in need of having their damaged homes repaired and rebuilt, and PLAN International’s efforts to help connect 100 at-risk youth from flood-affected disadvantaged areas with job training and career opportunities.