Smart cameras for early flooding detection

More than a billion people live in low-lying coastal regions. Rivers, harbours and canals are vital parts of many of the world’s cities. Flooding is a constant risk in these areas and pose a danger to people and property.

Climate change increases the risk of flooding, and urbanisation increases the potential damage from floods. In addition, how we design our cities have a major impact on the risk. It is vital to have parks and open areas in cities to mitigate rising water levels. 

Technology can also help detect flooding and minimise the damage from such disasters. Axis has installed smart camera systems in cities around the world to help against flooding disasters. The cameras are installed at critical locations, such as along harbours, canals and rivers. 

The cameras constantly monitor the flow of water, during daytime, and even during night-time using infrared (IR) video. Smart algorithms in the cameras measure the water levels, flows and currents. Together with sensor data, rain measurements, and meteorological forecasts, the system analyses the situation and detects flooding at an early stage.

Automatic alarms are sent, and video and data transmitted to operator dashboards in a control centre. The operators can further assess the risk by zooming in with the cameras to investigate the situation. Citizens are informed about the danger, using for example loudspeakers mounted in critical parts of the cities, or through mass text messages to mobile phones.

Streets and areas that are at risk of overflowing are closed and traffic redirected. Police and other emergency resources are directed to strategic locations to further help and guide citizens. In extremely dangerous situations, evacuations can be planned and executed in an orderly fashion.

Industry, inovation and infrastructure
Sustainable cities and communities
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Life on land