Technology giant IBM has teamed up with the Tamil Nadu government to establish a cloud-based intelligent operations command centre to help government agencies prepare for and respond to extreme weather events.
Based on IBM’s cloud and analytics technologies and services, the centre will be located in Chennai. It has been funded through an IBM grant of USD 2 million.
It is designed to help mitigate the devastating negative impact of natural disasters, including annual monsoon-related flooding, IBM said in a statement.
The cloud-based centre will enable Tamil Nadu to pool time-sensitive data from various sources, including weather forecasts, current conditions, and historical data from The Weather Company — an IBM unit — it added.
“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 IBM India Chief Operations Officer Amit Sharma.
With an estimated value of USD 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 statement said.
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.
The move comes after Chennai faced one of the worst floods in over a century in late 2015.
The Chennai centre 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 at IBM’s cloud data centre in Chennai.
This will also 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 centre will also analyse potential situations and outcomes and provide guidance for optimal response to help officials prepare for and deliver needed resources more quickly and effectively,” IBM said.
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, it added.