I agree that it’s highly unlikely but this isn’t a completely true statement either
I’ve designed things in south Florida and around Memphis/New Madrid and there some significant differences.
I should have added that it depends on what is meant by your average California earthquake. I would expect a building designed for South Florida winds to do just fine in a 3.9 mag that's 100 miles away though.
Earthquake loads are a function of the mass of the building. The heavier the building, the higher the load you have to design for. Also, since a building is like a pendulum, the design forces are top loaded, meaning that you don't have the same force pushing on every floor. You have a higher percentage of the forces at the upper floors and then the load drops. Said another way, if you have a lateral load of say 100k (100,000#) on a building, the amount of overturning due to that 100k which be much higher if it comes from seismic than it would be if it came from wind. The other issue is that it's the intense cycle reversion that is so damaging in earthquakes. You detail a building different in seismic because the code requirements are there to provide ductility to survive the cyclic loading. By detail the building, I meant how the reinforcing is proportioned, where it occurs, lots of small details that matter. Column splice rebar, for example, occurs at the floor level ideally. In seismic zones you have to do the column splices at mid height of the columns instead. I believe I'm remembering that correctly. It's been a few years since I did one of those.