BBC: Earth buffeted by big solar flare.
I was first made aware of magnetic flares, or solar storms, a few years ago when I was working on a job that involved satellite internet transfers. The concern was that a solar storm could knock out comms for a period of time, or in a rare circumstance could take out a satellite itself.
The article mentions “A less powerful flare, also in 1989, caused disruption of power grids in Canada.”, “The geomagnetic storm has caused compasses to swing wildly.” and “Japan’s space agency has announced that its Kodama communications satellite has been affected by the flare. It has been shut down with the hope it can be reactivated when the storm has passed.”