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I don't know about the rest of the planet, but my home town in North Wales had a direct hit from what was termed a plasma field in around Christmas 1994. There was a massive explosion followed by complete darkness.
Apparently, with not a cloud in the sky, a glowing cloud swept in from over the sea (Irish Sea), and hit the western part of town, instantly frying every electrical circuit in the affected part ( 2 mile sq).
My family alone had over £10,000 in damage to electrical systems.
Just imagine if we had an altercation of the size that Mark's suggesting .... it might be back to the C15th for all of us (assuming we all survive!)