For over a year, Fujitsu has been working to develop a tsunami prediction system by using AI and supercomputers to identify high-risk areas and flood-risk areas. Now, Fujitsu is taking this a step further and developing an app to warn users in the at-risk areas in time to seek safety. A tsunami is a threat to any coastal which is in close proximity to a coastline, where any underwater earthquake can cause a rush of tidal waves and consequently a tsunami.
Tsunamis have the power to overwhelm coastal defences pretty easily, and have enough force to roll over buildings and even uproot trees, not to mention the tidal waves can travel very far inland which can cause massive damage to infrastructure and widespread flooding. This is made further worse as there is very little chance to announce tsunami warnings, even though underwater earthquakes can be detected, it is hard to detect significant changes in wave heights. The severity and height of tidal waves can be observed only after it reaches the shoreline.
Last year, Fujitsu announced that it was using AI and supercomputers to develop a prediction system for flood-risk areas in the hopes to provide early warning to those who are at risk. In simple terms, the AI algorithm is trained using historical data related to earthquakes and tsunamis to predict the height of incoming tidal waves and then superimpose the data with realistic geographical models to predict the inland water movement and flooding patterns.
After a year of working on the development of the system, the company recently announces that it is working on an app that has the potential to give users warning of flooding in their areas and when there’s a tsunami coming. Last year in March, Fujitsu tried out the flood prediction app during an evacuation drill in Kawasaki. A limited number of public citizens were invited to the trial, and they were able to see the time before flooding hits specific areas.