Colombian First Lady Norah Puyana de Pastrana is in charge of a relief fund that had already raised more than $600,000. Assistance also arrived in the form of food, clothing, tents, medicine and portable electric generators.
Among the first embassies to respond to calls for international aid was that of Nicaragua, which offered a portion of the aid it had collected as relief for victims of Hurricane Mitch.
The Japanese Embassy offered a team of 35 earthquake experts, and the United States sent 62 Miami-Dade County firefighters from Florida.
Colombian President Andres Pastrana decided to cancel a scheduled trip to Europe, where he was to meet with World Bank officials and Pope John Paul II. Pastrana's office contracted with a Bogota accounting firm to oversee donations and the delivery of relief aid and to prevent misuse of relief funds.