Anderson Cooper, Elliot Yamin

Steve Granitz/Getty Images; Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

The earthquake in Chile is over, but American Idol alum Elliott Yamin is still reporting from the ground.

"We're not in a disaster-stricken area," he said in a telephone interview from Santiago today. "It's the first business day here since the earthquake hit."

But during the quake, he was in Viña del Mar, where Elliott says it was "absolutely chaotic." It was nearly 13 hours of darkness and aftershocks before he was bused to safety in Santiago, 90 miles away.

He said Twitter helped him cope with the tragedy...

"I was tweeting my ass off," he said. "I was texting and contacting family members. I immediately went into Anderson Cooper 2.0 mode. That kind of helped me stay sane and cope with the whole thing."

The singer isn't sure when he will be able to come home.

"The airport here just reopened late yesterday, but only for emergencies and relief workers," he explained. "American Airlines told us they were going to be resuming flights back to the States on Wednesday, and now they're saying it may not be until Friday...or beyond. At this point, all I can do is help."

In addition to being scheduled to perform at the Children Uniting Nations charity Oscar party on Sunday, he's also a type 1 diabetic.

"I only packed enough supplies for my insulin pump to last me another couple days," he said of his situation.

As for what we can do over here to help survivors of the quake, he said you can contribute right from your cell phone.

"Donate as soon as possible...pledge 10 dollars," he encouraged. "You can text it via the Red Cross [Text "CHILE" to 25383]."


Read Elliott's original reports during the quake here.

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