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SF's Sea Wall May Offer Little Protection From Pacific As California Marks Deadly Tsunami Anniversary

KCBS_740 SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) -- California marks the anniversary of a deadly tsunami this week, and the sea wall protecting one of its largest cities from the Pacific Ocean could be little more than a speed bump should a large tsunami head for the city.

Governor Jerry Brown wants Californians to be thinking of the role they would play if a tsunami hit the state during what officials have dubbed Tsunami Preparedness Week.

52 years ago this week, 12 people were killed when a tsunami hit Crescent City.

Another Californian who spends his days thinking about the power of the ocean is Jerry Shuman, Chief of Facilities for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Shuman is supervising a crew of masons and carpenters repairing the O'Shaughnessy sea wall along Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

"One of the things that the sea wall has done for us, it holds the sand back from blowing onto the parking lot, and onto the Great Highway, making it safer for the vehicle traffic," Shuman said.

But, when it comes to tsunami protection, the wall can only do so much.

"As far as a small tsunami, I'm sure that may help holding back some of the ocean, but I'm not sure what it would do in a large scale," Shuman said.

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