Inspired by this question from yesterday.
Solar flares can give off a large amount of radiation, but on Earth this is typically absorbed before it reaches anywhere but the poles, and even then only in very reduced quantities.
I was wondering if, in the event of solar flare activity that was powerful enough to at least partially bypass the defenses of an Earth-like planet, there were any scientifically plausible reason that it might do the following.
Irradiate parts of the planet below, making them hazardous to life.
Scatter these areas about the planet rather than simply sterilizing the whole planet.
Hit areas closer to the equator with noticeable radiation without turning all of the land closer to the poles into a radioactive mess.
I'm guessing the answer to this is probably a hard no, but thought I'd give it a go and see what came of it. If the answer is actually yes, how big a solar flare would this require?
Edit: I'd also be fine with answers that incorporated a planet with an altered magnetic sphere, or even a flipping of the poles if either is necessary. Just so long as the planet remained Earth-like on the surface.