For now, [artist id="2374415"]Elliott Yamin[/artist] is OK, but if he stays in earthquake-ravaged Chile much longer, the diabetic former "American Idol" contestant might run into some problems. On Monday evening, almost three days after a massive 8.8 quake rattled the South American country, Yamin told his Twitter followers, "amazing outpour of support out there! ... can't thank yall enuff!! ... I'm NOW DOING OK AS FAR INSULIN GOES! ... no need 2 wrry."
The tweet came after Yamin told Fox News that he was starting to worry about his supply of insulin. "I am a Type 1 diabetic and I only packed enough insulin supplies for my pump to last a couple more days," he said in one of the many interviews he's done since Saturday's massive tremor shook the country. The quake hit just hours after season five's third-place "Idol" finisher performed at a singing competition in the city of Viña del Mar, which is about 200 miles south of the epicenter in heavily damaged Concepción.
"I don't know how long we're going to be here. This country isn't very keen on insulin pumps; supplies for my pump are running low. Hospitals here are very crowded, and as you can imagine, they are dealing with bigger things."
Earlier on Monday, Yamin tweeted, "need 2 get home asap!" lamenting that flights might not resume until Friday and that he might have to drive 10 hours on a single-lane mountain road through the Andes to get to the city of Mendoza in Argentina. "We were sppsd to fly out wed ... now the airlines r saying Friday ... the travel scenario is only getting worse as far as gettn flights," he wrote.
"I hope to get home before I slip into a diabetic coma. That would be nice," Elliott told Fox. "I'm trying to be positive, I'm alive and well. I have all my limbs attached. I don't know how we all got out of there unscathed. I'm very grateful we lived to tell about it."
After posting pictures of the heavily damaged Santiago airport, which is only 25 minutes from where he's staying, Yamin said he might actually be better off making the treacherous trip to Mendoza. And, amid all the chaos, Yamin took the time out on Monday night to wish his brother, Scott, a happy birthday.
Early Tuesday morning (March 2), Yamin said he was told by the U.S. embassy to stay put and not travel to Mendoza, with no clear idea yet on when he might get out of the country. "I think I'm starting to have post traumatic stress, as I reflect on where I've been over the last 2 weeks, and what I've been thru .. altho I'm safe, alive, and well, still experiencing aftershox, and will b restless until i touch down on American soil."
So far, more than 700 deaths have been attributed to the earthquake, one of the largest ever in a country that holds the record for the biggest tremor of all time, a 1960 event that measured 9.5 on the Richter scale and killed more than 5,000 people. Two million-plus Chileans have been displaced by the latest quake, which was so powerful that, according to CNN, the massive shift in the distribution of rock on the Earth's surface might have actually tilted the planet's axis enough to change the length of each day by an imperceptible, but measurable, 1.26 microseconds.
Though Chile is well prepared for quakes thanks to its long history of earth-shaking events, police in the country have been struggling to maintain order in the wake of Saturday's tremor, with widespread looting reported in a number of major cities, where millions are trying to survive without food, water and electricity.