Lafayette St. School
205 Lafayette Street
Newark, New Jersey 07105
March 2002
Dear President Bush,

Recently, in my research I have found that plate tectonics are the cause of earthquakes. The plates consist of an outer layer called the lithosphere, which is cool enough to behave as a more or less rigid shell. The hot asthenosphere finds a weak place in the lithosphere to rise gently as a hotspot. The lithosphere has the strength and the behavior to crack in the earthquake.

According to the maps I have been analyzing, I have noticed that most earthquakes appear in New Zealand as well as in California. There are rarely any earthquakes in the eastern part of the United States.

I have made different graphs, based on different earthquakes’ magnitude and depth over time. By observing my graphs I have become aware that most earthquakes have a magnitude of 4.0 – 4.9. I have also found that there are hardly any earthquakes with a 7.0 – 7.9 magnitude. I have discovered that most earthquakes have a depth of 0km to 100km. Barely any earthquakes have a depth of 201km to 300km.

All around the world there are many different safety plans for earthquakes according to where you live. In Japan, the hydraulic system is a very successful system. This system lifts up the buildings a couple of inches off the ground and slides them. The result of the hydraulic system is less destruction.

I strongly believe that you should keep on funding this program. If you fund this program maybe in a couple of years, earthquakes won't cause as much destruction on important buildings. If the funding of this program is continued scientists will be able to find a way so earthquakes wont cause much destruction. Therefore, there will be less money spent on repairs. As you can see if you continue funding the program you will ensure the safety of many United States citizens as well as people around the world.



Dear Editor,

Earthquakes are very big issues in the United States; earthquakes affect our community in many ways. They affect our social life, because now many houses have been destroyed and friends of ours have been killed. It also affects our government as well, because now the government has to spend money trying to repair the immense damage caused by the earthquakes. But what about the damage that the earthquakes have caused in people's lives that no one can fix, not even the government? That’s why I think that we should have a safety plan.

A safety plan would come in handy when we are faced with an earthquake. Safety plans are very important; they shouldn't be taken as a joke. Even though we might not have that many earthquakes here on the east coast, we still need a safety plan. We need safety plans for wherever there is the risk of an earthquake. Now, how would you feel if your son or daughter was at school and an earthquake occurs and your child's school doesn’t have a safety plan? What would you say? How would you react? These are the things that need to be taken in mind when dealing with earthquakes. This is an important issue, and I feel that not enough attention is being paid to it. Now, for that reason I have been doing some research for a period of time now, and have come up with a safety plan for our schools. I assure you that this is the best safety plan for the schools. No other safety plan will allow you to relax knowing that your children are safe at school. I guarantee that after you read my safety plan you will be so overwhelmed that you won’t even have to bother to look at anyone else’s safety plan.

1 – Have Sensitivity Detectors installed underground, and rigged to the school with an alarm. So that if an earthquake is about to happen the alarm will go off and the students, teachers and staff members can go to the shelter.

2 – Have a shelter for the earthquake that will be able to fit all the students, teachers, staff members in them, so that they can be safe.

3 – Have some sort of a hydraulics system so that as the earth moves so will the shelter. That way the shelter won’t collapse when the earthquake happens.

4 – Have an easy to get to access on each floor so that the children can all get to the shelter in time; no one has to be injured, or sometimes even killed. These easy to get to access doors, or chutes could be like a slide so that the children, teachers, and other staff members could slide down the chute and get to the shelter quickly and safely.

5 – Have the alarm also rigged to the Police Station and the Fire Fighter Station, so that they too will know that the earthquake is about to happen.

6 – Have air supply in storage, just in case the shelter collapses. Then they'll have an air supply that will last up to a week.

7 – Shelter doors should be made out of a material that wont let any kind of debris destroy the door. Also, make the doors fire proof, water proof, crash proof, and gas proof. This way the people in the shelter will be secure.

8 – Have a door made out of the same material as the other doors, but this door will be used to close all the chutes openings. This way if the building catches on fire, the fire won't travel down the chute. This will also prevent debris from coming into the shelter from the chute openings.

9 – The shelter also will have to be made out of a material that can withstand the fall of any debris from the height of the school building. Also, make it fire proof, waterproof, crash proof and gas proof. This way the shelter will be impenetrable!

10 – After the earthquake stops, wait until one of the Firefighters or Police Officers come to the shelter and tell everyone to come out. This way there wont be any problems with people leaving the shelter before the earthquake has ended!

This is my safety plan. Now I know it sounds all wonderful, and I know that its going to take a lot of money to make it happen, but it's worth it. What would you rather do, spend a lot of money on the safety of your children, or spend the money on something else and watch these children become victims of an earthquake? After, if the shelter proves to be successful, another one can be built so that not only the school will be protected, but also the community as a whole. Well I have provided you with the best safety plan in the nation, and I have provided you the facts you need to make educated decisions, but I can't make the decision for you. So, I put this in your hands, and urge you to do what's right for the country.


  Dear Mr. President,

Recently, I have been researching Musical Plates, a program that includes real time data, earthquakes, volcanoes, and the theory of plate tectonics. I have completed many projects based on my research. As you can see, I pinpointed recent earthquakes and volcanoes. I also created three graphs with the research I have gathered. I have even interviewed DeWitt C. Baldwin, who was an actual survivor of the San Francisco Earthquake. After completing all these activities, I strongly believe that this program should be supported.

The main reason why I think you should support this project is because I have found a connection between earthquakes and volcanoes. Through my research, I learned that plate tectonics explain many geological events. In this case, earthquakes and volcanoes; in other words, both earthquakes and volcanoes are caused by plate tectonics. If you support this program, we could even find more connections between earthquakes and volcanoes.

Another reason is that if this program were supported, more research would be done. Then, we might even be able to better predict when earthquakes or volcanoes are going to occur. We might also be able to know where these events are going to take place. By knowing this information we will be able to create safety plans for where these eruptions and earthquakes will occur. By doing this, millions of lives will be saved.

I haven’t even mentioned the money it would save our country. If we had safety plans for earthquakes and volcanoes, we wouldn’t have to rebuild buildings, houses, etc. Also, we wouldn’t have to send money and supplies to other countries where these events occur. The United States would benefit a lot from this.

As you can see, if this program is funded, many people will benefit from it. We will be able to find new connections between earthquakes and volcanoes, and also, save a lot of our nation’s money. So, I urge you to consider my point of view. If you decide to support this program, you will see many great accomplishments and results, not only in our country, but around the entire world.



Dear Editor,

I believe our community would be affected severely by an earthquake. When this disaster occurs, houses collapse, there are big gaps in the earth, and many deaths occur. An earthquake may have a low magnitude, but it definitely tears apart everything. Therefore, we all need a safety plan!

First of all, we need a safety plan because it’s a precaution. We need to know what to do in case of an earthquake instead of panicking, like Arnold Genthe, one of the survivors, who woke up to hear his Chinese porcelains crashing, and the whole house shaking. Arnold didn’t really know what to do, or even had a choice. He just waited to see what was going to happen next. If he had a safety plan, Arnold wouldn’t have been in his house waiting for death!

Thus, we all need to be prepared for an earthquake. It’s like a last resort. In case of an earthquake, and you don’t have a safety plan, I just suggest to head to high ground. However, it might not always work, so I ask all of you to create a safety plan with your family!

Dear Mr. President,

I’ve been studying about the earthquakes that happened between November 7, 2001 and November 9, 2001. All the earthquakes I studied were larger than 3.3 on the Richter scale. By studying these earthquakes, I have discovered that the largest number take place in the area of Australia – Indonesia. During November 7 – 9, seven earthquakes occurred there. They were a 4.3 through 5.7 in magnitude.

The most recent earthquake, until now, happened in the south of Mariana Islands at 20:14:42, its magnitude was of 4.8. It was located on 11.87N and 143.63E, and the depth was of 33.0 kilometers.

The most powerful earthquake was a 6.1 in magnitude, it was located on the region of the Panama – Costa Rica border. It happened at 00:47:57 it’s also one of the most recent earthquakes because it happened today. This earthquake was located at 9.63N and 82.23W, its depth was 33.0 kilometers.

During this week, we had an earthquake here in the United States. It occurred November 7, 2001 at 19:39:01. It happened in Northern California, located at 40.87N and 121.63W. Its magnitude was of 3.3 and its depth was of 12.3 kilometers.

Mr. President, you wanted to know what causes earthquakes and here is your answer: Earthquakes are caused when plates move, rub, or push against each other. These plates are floating over molten lava called magma. This magma has currents, like the ocean does, that move in circular form. When these plates meet, they are pushing on each other and they are building up tension. So, when they finally slip they release a great amount of energy in the form of shock waves. This vibration causes the ground to move and shake causing our famous "Earthquakes." These earthquakes happen most of the time in areas near the plate edges and along faults.

I hope I have answered all your questions.



Dear President Bush:

I’ve come to realize through a lot of research that there is a link between earthquakes, volcanoes, and weather. The rubbing or pushing against the earth’s plates cause earthquakes. Plate tectonics deal with the plates on which the continents sit. These plates move, and they end up colliding causing the earth’s surface to shake in a rapid movement of the earth’s rocky outer layer; therefore, creating the earthquake. These earthquakes and volcanoes affect our society in a lot of different ways. Volcanoes are a naturally occurring opening in the surface of the earth through which molten, gaseous, and solid material is ejected. Also, I’ve been able to identify a pattern which seems to reveal that an earthquake, there usually is a volcanic eruptions around that area. Now I’ve provided you with a map so you can look at it yourself.

Now, there is also another pattern. It seems that when volcanoes erupt, there is a change in the weather. It occasionally happens to get hot; therefore, causing the water to evaporate, and causing it to rain. This rain isn’t the normal rain that we have; it is "acid rain." This will also affect our community even more severely than an earthquake or volcano would. It would affect the plants, therefore affecting the air we breathe. This research that I’m conducting will help us decide about precautions needed to prevent complete devastation to our community.

Lastly, I’ve also included a safety plan for earthquakes. This safety plan might sound futuristic, but it’s the best one around. With the research I’ll be able to identify the positions of the volcanoes so we can evacuate the places in the volcano’s path. This will only save more lives instead of losing them. Hopefully, you will understand my point, and let me continue this project.



Project Coordinator Earth Watch