Depends upon the harbor. One closed and protected like Pearl may not be as prone to issues, the outer part of the harbor entrance may take a bigger hit, the inner harbor being spared. A more open harbor in a bay, or in anything shaped like a "v" where the point is inward, could be much more prone to devastation I would think.
The shape of a bay is critical. So is the direction that it is pointed. So is the topography of the sea bed in the bay and the area directly ahead of the bay. So is the topography of the land that surrounds the bay.
The more that these factors focus the wave energy, the greater the wave height and the potential for damage.
Fortunately for Hawaii, they have had several hours to prepare. In most cases, simply going into the upper floors of a substantial building is enough to escape death.
These things are very hard to predict. The wave that hits Hawaii could turn out to be a big nothing. That's what happened with the last newsmaker tsunami to hit Hawaii.
The death and destruction are what they are and I mourn for the losses but the economic effects of this thing are what are worrying me the most right now. Since we are in a global economy there are ripple effects that won't be felt for days and weeks but when they hit they will be just as devastating from an economic point of view.
Japan is the third largest economy in the world. This is a national emergency for them on a scale that they have not seen since WWII. Everything will change for them... immediately. Purchases won't be made. Products will cease production. Entire industries could grind to a halt. When something of this scale hits an economy this large the effect for the rest of the world will be very, very noticeable and it will not be good. The more closely other economies are linked to Japan (like ours) the worse the effects will be.
What I mean by this is that we could have many companies here in the states where suddenly their customer base is wiped out. That puts their employees out of work. And the ripple continues.
Japan is a big banking and stock trading center. A disruption there could have very bad consequences for a lot of places.
This is a big f**king deal in ways that we cannot now even imagine.