"In April 2010, Rio de Janeiro was struck by severe weather. The rainy season was particularly strong that year, with flooding and mudslides claiming the lives of 200 people and leaving 15,000 homeless. As the host of the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016, Rio needed to make sure by the next rainy season that such a disaster would not happen again.
In cooperation with IBM Smarter Cities, the Rio Operations Center was founded, and by December of the same year the control station was already in operation. Information regarding water supply, weather, and traffic (including footage from 200 traffic surveillance cameras) was broadcast across a huge network of 300 screens. Even Google seemed impressed by the way that the centre integrated the mapping service Google Earth into its work.
In serious situations – from traffic delays to heavy storms – the Operations Center informs its 50,000+ Twitter followers. In the case of impending bad weather, key people in affected neighbourhoods can be informed via e-mail or SMS and evacuations sirens can be activated. In the future, the CET hopes to have access to even greater quantities of data."