Living near a major fault gives me many instances of feeling the ground shake.
Once, in the late 1960’s I was sunning myself in our dirt backyard, and the earth literally moved under me.
I saw a wave roll under me about a foot and a half high, and took note that this kind of phenomena would probably never happen to me again.
Mainly because I never sit outside for sun tanning anymore.
Recently the shake was just a little jiggle, and I enjoyed it as I was awake at the time. Others in the Napa region were not so joyfull.
My son, who lives perched safely on San Francisco bedrock, worries that I may be hit by a wall of water if there is a massive quake off our coast.
There are several scientific reasons why this will not be a problem.
Historically we do not have massive sharp underwater quakes that produce avalanches.
The sidewise motion of the plates sliding past on the San Andreas fault just moves the earth side to side. If we were to suffer the downward slip of the plate, then that is a different matter. Then we would see whole buildings drop off their foundations, as happened to Alaska in 1964 or so.
Say, for arguement’s sake that a quake did produce a large wave or tsunami headed for the San Francisco Bay, and say that it was a sizable wall of water about twenty feet high.
First, the water would hit the outer beaches, flow through the Golden Gate narrows, and slam Emmeryville on the inner side of the Bay.
Turning to the north, the water would slop around Tiburon, Sauselito, and push up against the river coming out of the Delta.
Depending on the state of the tide, it would have room to flow to the upper part of Suisun Bay and against the fresh river water.
If it was low tide, the water would make a right turn at the Bay Bridge, and be slowed by all the obstacles that get in the way. There are the foundations of the two bridges, the islands in the bay, and the tip of Alameda island itself. This westernmost end of the island upon which I live has mostly empty space as it is a dedcommissioned Naval Air base. The USS Hornet would simply float, and the esturaries flood over the banks at Jack London Square, and the Nob Hill shopping center.
Rushing south to San Jose and the Alviso inlet, the wave would flatten out considerably as the bay widens as it goes past Fremont, and Union City.
The two bridges, San Mateo and Dumbarton would get flooded, but again the speed and volume of the water would slow.
In order for my part of the island to flood seriously, a wave would have to hit ninety degrees, and by the lay of the island this is not possible.
Any water and rise in level would be manageble, as it would be flowing at a very steep angle almmost parallel to the beach. The empty channel leading up to the Oakland airport would take the brunt of the wave, but the back wash may produce some flooding in the shopping center.
There is also a seawall to slow the flow on the backwash, so all these factors would protect my little apartment from being knocked around. The underground garage could get some moistrue, as it has been known to flood in the past with a heavy rain and no working drains.
But, heavy rain is about as likely as a tsunami in California now.