February 27th
written by Bullet-Point Ben

In case you were worried about us, we’re just fine. We’re currently in Pucón, Chile, about 180 miles from the epicenter – about the same distance as Santiago. The earthquake felt like being on a really small boat in really rough seas for about 3 minutes. Obviously it was pretty scary, especially because it happened in the middle of the night (3:30am local time).  Possibly my new least favorite way of being awakened from a deep sleep. After the shaking stopped we started wondering what sort of effect it would have on the giant volcano just out our window. (no effect at all, apparently).  The town of Pucon seems to have been spared the worst effects of the earthquake.


Interesting tidbit: you can (and probably will) get seasick from an earthquake.  Aside from the seasickness and having to go almost a whole day without internet, the earthquake wasn’t that bad.  Obviously conditions are a lot different closer to the epicenter in Concepcion.


  1. Becky

    Glad you two are ok- we were thinking of you:)

  2. Anita Tjan

    I was wondering how you are. Thanks for the update. Glad you are fine.

  3. Sandra

    wow, glad you guys are safe – that must have been a terrifying wake up call.

  4. Jim

    What is the general condition of buildings in Pucon? Our former German exchange students have parents living near Pucon. No word yet.

  5. 02/28/2010

    Thanks everyone.
    Jim – As far as I know, there really is no damage in Pucon. We haven’t seen anything at all, just a few broken glass bottles. I’m sure that your friends are just fine.

  6. KathyNY

    Thank you so much for making this blog.

    My future daughter-in-law is an exchange student and was visiting Pucon for the weekend. Her name is Laura Campion and she is from New York.

    Please stay safe and you are all in our prayers.


  7. Clay

    Hope all is going okay. Can you leave the area or are you stuck for now? Talk to you later. Love You!

  8. Jan

    Thanks for this. We have friends in Pucon and were worried about their safety. They were planning on coming back to the US next week. How does the earthquake affect flights out?

  9. Theresa

    Hi Alonna, I was worried about you when I woke up sat. morning and heard the news. Glad to hear you and Ben are fine 🙂

  10. Sarah


    Thanks for your blog. We were planning to fly to Chile next Saturday, starting with Patagonia then Puerto Montt, Valdivia, Pucon, Valparaiso and Santiago. What do you thinl we should do? Is it really complicated to travel through Chile. I have heard that the main road through the country is pretty damaged. How is in Pucon? Is everything closed or is the life still going on?

    Thanks in advance,

    Sarah (from Belgium)

  11. Jeanne

    I am really glad to hear you are ok. When I heard about the earthquake, I kept trying to remember your itinerary. I hope this is the only excitement Mother Nature sends your way for the rest of the trip.

  12. 03/01/2010

    We were glad to hear everything was OK. We were in an earthquake in Montana but it was only 5.5 which was good enough. We were in the basement of the building and the wall waved. Keep having fun. Betty

  13. Margaret (Montreal)

    Though you don’t know us (I came across your site in a random search) your site was very reassuring to us – our family spent several weeks with a family in Pucon a couple of years ago and have not been able to contact them since the quake. Your post allows us to believe that they are all okay. Thank you.

  14. 03/01/2010

    Thanks everyone for checking in and thinking of us. We really appreciate all of your warm messages.

    @Clay – we were stuck for 2 days in Pucon before we could take a bus out to Argentina (which we did today without problems). I guess they probably had to check all the road conditions before letting buses run.

    @Jan – Sorry that I can’t help, but I don’t know anything about flights in Chile. I hope you’re able to contact your friends and that they’re okay. If they were in Pucon I’m sure they’re just fine, and enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery!

    @Sarah – Patagonia will be just fine, no problems there. If your flights are routed through Santiago you’ll want to check and make sure the airport is up and running (which I know nothing about at this point). As far as Puerto Montt, Valdivia and Pucon, I don’t think you’ll have any trouble there – if I were you I’d stick with my original itinerary for that portion too. But… Valpraiso and Santiago I’m not sure about. To get there you’d have to go through the areas most affected, and I don’t know what the status of the roads will be like. Honestly I’d probably avoid those areas, even if it’s a couple weeks away from now. These things really take time to recover, it’s a huge mess over there. Maybe you want to swing over to Argentina instead?

    @Margaret – You’re very welcome and I trust that your friends in Pucon are just fine. The internet, power, and phone service has been spotty the last few days, but I’m sure you’ll hear from them soon.