A solar flare is evident when there is a flash of brightness near the Sun’s surface. This flare causes a number of types energy emissions that often send out clouds of electrons, ions, and atoms into space, reaching Earth up to 2 days after the initial event. These flares can affect Earth’s ionosphere and interfere with radio communications.
A solar flare can escalate in intensity and become a solar storm. Solar storms have been on record since 2225 B.C.E. The Aztecs are thought to have personified solar storms with their sun god Nanahuatzin, who being full of sores, periodically flaked skin away. Incidentally, Nanahuatzin was considered The Fifth Sun, the god whose demise would bring on the Aztec apocalypse with his death.
Scientists have been able to measure the effects of solar storms on the Earth since 1859. The potential for devastation can not be over emphasized. Solar flares can emit energy equivalent to a billion hydrogen bombs and are difficult to predict with any accuracy.
While most scientists agree that a solar storm would not destroy Earth, it definitely would destroy the world as we know it, technologically wise, at least for a time. In 1859, a solar storm hit the Earth’s magnetosphere and caused one of the largest geomagnetic storms on record. In addition to intense auroras, bright enough to read a newspaper by, telegraphs operators were shocked and telegraph paper set on fire. A similarly powerful storm was detected in 2012 and missed Earth by a period of nine days.
Because the intensity of a solar storm could melt copper wires that are part of the power distribution system, a large storm would cause massive power outages. This would affect the internet, any grid-tied device, many urban water and sewer systems, gas pumps, medical equipment and so on. It might take years to repair and reestablish the electric grid network.
In the case of a solar storm, La Yacata is the perfect place to be. We have no electricity, so grid-down would not adversely affect our daily life. (See Cooking without electricity) Of course, without the internet, I wouldn’t be able to write these blog posts you enjoy so much, nor would you be able to read them, so there is that. But overall, it’s a completely survivable event, at least in our case.