The idea that solar flares trigger earthquakes is far from widely accepted, but has received some serious attention from geophysicists. According to the theory, disturbances from the Sun upset the Earth’s magnetic field, which may somehow lead to instability in tectonic plates.

It turns out that today’s devastating Christchurch earthquake has occurred just five days after a major solar flare. As a result of the flare, a few websites went so far as to predict a high probability of earthquakes.

This blogger predicted possible major earthquakes in the northern hemisphere, which thankfully have not eventuated, but also this:

Southern Hemisphere there is a potential event around 45-50 Degrees Latitude, most likely fit region is the base or South Island New Zealand extending down towards Macquarie Islands, possible magnitude could be 6.2 to 6.5.

With the Christchurch earthquake rating at 6.3 on the Richter Scale, this would have to go down as a good call. This website also predicted possible earthquakes in light of the solar flares.

For believers in the theory, the bad news is that the next major peak in solar activity is not expected until 2012.

It should be pointed out, however, there are more than 130 earthquakes greater than 6 on the Richter Scale recorded each year, so any prediction of an earthquake at this scale has an excellent chance of coming to fruition within five days somewhere in the world.