Mask-wearing raises imports of eye makeup from S. Korea #SootinClaimon.Com

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Mask-wearing raises imports of eye makeup from S. Korea

Jan 17. 2021

By The Yomiuri Shimbun

With widespread mask-wearing drawing more attention to people’s eyes, imports of makeup such as eye shadow and mascara, mainly from South Korea, are on the rise.

According to Osaka Customs, nationwide imports of cosmetics as a whole fell in the January-October period of 2020. Lipstick imports were down 28.2% and powder imports were down 23.5% from the same period in the previous year.

On the other hand, eye makeup imports grew significantly, up 10% to 2,246 tons. The annual import volume for 2020 appears to have surpassed that of 2019, the highest year on record.

Especially on the rise are imports from South Korea, which rose 19.9% to 599 tons in the January-October period, one of the factors pushing up the total volume of eye makeup imports.

At Nanohana Ebisubashi, a cosmetics specialty outlet in Chuo Ward, Osaka, South Korean products account for one-third of the about 200 brands displayed in the store. Many of the products are brightly colored and come in attractive packaging resembling magazine covers.

“The area around my eyes is important because I always wear a mask. South Korean brands are more affordable than Japanese products and the colors are bright,” a 24-year-old woman from Osaka said.

Behind the trend is a Korean boom in Japanese popular culture that began before the coronavirus crisis, spurred by South Korean TV programs and K-pop idol groups. There is even a magazine that gives advice on how to apply makeup like actress Son Ye-jin of the drama “Crash Landing on You.”

“Due to the influence of the Korean boom, more and more people are adopting eye shadow and other South Korean makeup, which comes in a wide variety of colors,” an official of the store’s operating company said.

Domestic manufacturers are also benefitting from the popularity of eye makeup. According to Tokiwa Pharmaceutical Co., sales of lip gloss and foundation were lower than before the virus outbreak, but domestic shipments of the eye makeup brand Sana New Born rose year on year in the July-November 2020 period.

Shiseido Co. has released a base makeup product that does not stick to masks, and the company has a dedicated website that offers tips on how to apply makeup when wearing a mask.

China to step up protection of rare earth resources #SootinClaimon.Com

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China to step up protection of rare earth resources

Jan 17. 2021

By China Daily

China will reinforce the protection of its rare earth resources, strengthen full industrial chain regulation and establish a mechanism under the State Council to decide and coordinate on major policy measures, according to a draft guideline published on Friday.

The guideline was published on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and will be kept open for public opinion till Feb 15.

“Rare earths are important strategic resources that are not renewable, and it is necessary to reinforce the full industrial chain regulations targeting activities that are currently disrupting the healthy development of the industry and damaging the environment, such as illegal, destructive, unplanned and excessive mining, and illicit trading,” the ministry said.

The guideline aims to regulate the rare earth industry under the framework of laws and regulations, the ministry said.

A group of 17 metallic elements that have distinctive properties such as electrical conductivity and magnetism, rare earths are used in a wide variety of applications, ranging from cellphone batteries, computers, wind turbines and televisions, to fiber optics and missiles, and are widely considered important strategic resources.

Stating the prized resources’ irreplaceable significance for the upgrade of traditional industries, and the development of emerging industries and the national defense industry, the guideline said special measures must be taken to protect the resources.

It mentioned administrative license and project approval procedures for rare earth mining and the process of smelting and separation, and quotas respectively for mining, and for smelting and separation.

According to the guideline, any organization or natural person is prohibited from purchasing or selling rare earth products that are illegally mined, or smelted and separated.

It also stressed that rare earth import and export enterprises must abide by the foreign trade and export control laws and regulations.

As the world’s largest rare earth supplier, China produces around 80 percent of the world’s total supplies.

However, the country’s rare-earth industry faces problems such as smuggling, illegal mining and environmental damage issues.

To protect the important strategic resource, the rare earth industry should have more precise rules and regulations, and the government should encourage innovation and development of high-end rare earth products such as new materials to move up the global value chain, said Bai Ming, deputy director of the Institute of International Market Research at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Commerce.

HCM City sets up cyber security, hi-tech crime prevention division #SootinClaimon.Com

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HCM City sets up cyber security, hi-tech crime prevention division

Jan 17. 2021

By Vietnam News

HCM CITY— The HCM City police on January 12 launched a cybersecurity and hi-tech crime prevention division.

Senior Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Thế Lâm, deputy chief of staff, heads the division (PA05).

Speaking at the launch ceremony, Nguyễn Thành Phong, chairman of the city People’s Committee, said the city had identified cybersecurity as one of the pillars of building a smart city.

In October last year the city launched an information security centre to monitor, prevent and respond to information security incidents affecting State agencies, he said.

“The city is a ‘special’ urban area and a national hubfor many things, but also faces a great threat from cyber and high-tech criminals,” he said.

Recognising that, the Ministry of Public Security decided to strengthen the city police with the establishment of a cybersecurity and hi-tech crime prevention division, he said.

The city would help the police acquire facilities and equipment for cybersecurity and hi-tech crime prevention, ensuring that they achieve a “dramatic change” right from the beginning of 2021, he said.

Major General Lê Hồng Nam, director of the police department, said with criminals taking advantage of the internet and other technologies to subvert political and social security and social order, the establishment of the PA05 would meet the requirements of fighting crime.

“It is also a milestone in the process of making the city police stronger and more modern,” he added. VNS

US-China trade friction has cost up to 245,000 US jobs, says study #SootinClaimon.Com

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US-China trade friction has cost up to 245,000 US jobs, says study

Jan 17. 2021

By China Daily

The United States’ trade friction with China has caused a peak loss of 245,000 US jobs, but a gradual scaling back of tariffs on both sides would boost growth and lead to an additional creation of 145,000 jobs by 2025, reported Reuters on Jan 15, citing a study commissioned by the US-China Business Council.

The USCBC, which represents major American companies doing business in China, said the study by Oxford Economics also includes an “escalation scenario” which estimates a significant decoupling of the world’s two largest economies could shrink US GDP by $1.6 trillion over the next five years.

This could result in 732,000 fewer US jobs in 2022 and 320,000 fewer jobs by 2025, the report said.

The study estimates that US exports to China support 1.2 million American jobs and Chinese multinational companies directly employ 197,000 Americans, while US companies invested $105 billion in China in 2019, Reuters reported.

“With China forecast to drive around one-third of global growth over the next decade, maintaining market access to China is increasingly essential for US businesses’ global success,” the study said.

PH gets P3.72-B grant, 500K vaccine doses from China #SootinClaimon.Com

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PH gets P3.72-B grant, 500K vaccine doses from China

Jan 17. 2021

By Enquirer

China on Saturday provided a 500-million renminbi (P3.72-billion) grant to the Philippines to bankroll various livelihood and infrastructure projects, which might also be used to finance the Duterte administration’s COVID-19 response, and promised to donate 500,000 doses of a coronavirus vaccine.

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced the vaccine donation during a 40-minute meeting with President Duterte at Malacañang Palace, at the end of his two-day visit to the Philippines, the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement.

The announcement was made a day after the Senate concluded an inquiry into the administration’s vaccination program and its plan to procure up to 25 million doses of the vaccine made by the Chinese pharmaceutical Sinovac Biotech, which had drawn criticisms from lawmakers for being both costly and less efficacious than other vaccines.

According to the Chinese statement, Mr. Duterte “lauded the continued high-level engagement” between China and the Philippines amid the pandemic and stressed the importance of “delivering on the promises of the comprehensive strategic cooperation” between the two countries.

“The recovery of nations … sits on the back of stronger economies. China plays a very key role in reviving our region’s economy. Let us do all we can to revive economic activities between the Philippines and China,” Mr. Duterte was quoted as saying.

Wang Yi

Wang Yi

For global good

Wang reaffirmed China’s commitment to support the Philippines’ efforts “to combat COVID-19” and Beijing’s “resolve to do everything to ensure that vaccines become a global good,” the statement said.

Wang “underscored China’s commitment under President Xi Jinping to work closely with the Philippines to sustain the positive trajectory of the valued and special bilateral relations,” it said.

Finance Undersecretary Mark Dennis Y.C. Joven said that while the grant was intended to mainly finance livelihood projects, infrastructure and feasibility studies for big-ticket projects, it was “subject to further discussions” on its possible use to support “COVID-19-related activities and response measures.”

While China has yet to provide direct financial assistance to the Philippines during the pandemic, it donated personal protective equipment like goggles, masks and suits, and medical supplies such as ventilators and testing kits, to the country at the height of the longest lockdown in the region.

Wang’s visit was the latest demonstration of China’s support for Mr. Duterte, who has warmed ties between Beijing and Manila after the President set aside a 2016 international arbitral ruling invalidating China’s expansive claims over the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea.

The Chinese foreign ministry statement made no direct reference to the maritime dispute between the Philippines and China.

Wang, who arrived in the country on Friday, held a separate meeting earlier on Saturday with Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.

“Let me emphasize that in the process of the [Philippine government’s] response to COVID-19, China as a friend of the Philippines and your closest neighbor, we will firmly stand with the people of the Philippines until the defeat of this virus,” he said in a speech.

Locsin said the fight against COVID-19 and “the universal acceptance of the new inescapable normal is entering a turning point, with the beginning of vaccinations.”

“With our two nations’ abiding interest in regional stability and the security of our maritime commons, it behooves us to show our ability to rise to the challenge of managing differences peacefully and in accordance with law,” he said.

“Our close cooperation to beat COVID-19 has only further enhanced our overall ties and deepened our friendship,” Locsin said.

Since mid-2016, the Duterte administration received a total of 3.25 billion renminbi (about $496.97 million) in grants from China.

7 grants for BBB

Manila and Beijing have now signed and executed a total of seven grants funding prefeasibility studies, equipment provision, as well as implementation of some infrastructure projects under the Duterte administration’s ambitious “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) program.

The Department of Finance said the previous six grants funded the following: construction of Binondo-Intramuros and Estrella-Pantaleon bridges on the Pasig-Marikina Rivers, as well as Bucana Bridge on Davao River; procurement of the container inspection equipment of the Bureau of Customs; and rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi City.

China had also extended three loans to the Philippines. One is being used for the Chico River Pump Irrigation project, another is for building the New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam, and the third for the Philippine National Railways South Long-Haul projects.

ADB, EIB join hands to protect oceans, support blue economy #SootinClaimon.Com

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ADB, EIB join hands to protect oceans, support blue economy

Jan 17. 2021

By The Daily Star

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) has formed a new clean and sustainable ocean partnership to support initiatives in Asia and the Pacific to help meet the SDGs and the climate goals of the Paris Agreement.

The partnership will strengthen the capacity of ADB and EIB to support high-impact projects, said an ADB press release today.

Both institutions will finance activities aimed at promoting cleaner oceans through the reduction of land-based plastics and other pollutants discharged into the ocean, as well as projects to improve the sustainability of socioeconomic activities that take place in oceans or use ocean-based resources.

“This memorandum of understanding between ADB and EIB will launch a framework for cooperation on clean and sustainable oceans, helping us to expand our pipeline of ocean projects in the region and widen their impacts,” said Bambang Susantono, ADB VP for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development.

“Oceans are under enormous pressure, with implications for billions of people. The economic crisis caused by Covid-19 does not weaken our commitment to address global environmental and climate challenges,” said EIB Vice-President Christian Kettel Thomsen.

The partnership provides a framework for ADB and EIB to expand inter-institutional cooperation and investments in ocean health and sustainable blue economy.

In addition, ADB and EIB will develop joint technical assistance programs and advisory support to help partners get sustainable blue economy and clean oceans projects off the ground.

Healthy oceans are a key priority of ADB’s Strategy 2030. In 2019, ADB launched a $5 billion Action Plan for Healthy Oceans and Sustainable Blue Economies (the Action Plan) to boost investment and technical assistance to protect and restore oceans in Asia and the Pacific.

Under its Blue Sustainable Ocean Strategy, the EIB committed to double its lending to sustainable ocean projects to €2.5 billion (around $3 billion) over the period 2019–2023 and expects to mobilise at least €5 billion of investments that will contribute to improve the health of the oceans and their resources.

‘All over the world 60 per cent children get Made-in-India life-saving vaccines’: PM Modi #SootinClaimon.Com

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‘All over the world 60 per cent children get Made-in-India life-saving vaccines’: PM Modi

Jan 17. 2021He called upon people to show the same sense of self-confidence and self-reliance during the phase of vaccination drive. (Image: Twitter/@PMBhutan)

He called upon people to show the same sense of self-confidence and self-reliance during the phase of vaccination drive. (Image: Twitter/@PMBhutan)

By The Statesman

The Prime Minister put the unprecedented scale of the vaccination drive in perspective by informing that, in the first round itself, 3 crore people, which is more than the population of at least 100 countries of the world, are being vaccinated.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the pan India rollout of COVID-19 vaccination drive via video conferencing today. This is the world’s largest vaccination program covering the entire length and breadth of the country.

The Prime Minister put the unprecedented scale of the vaccination drive in perspective by informing that, in the first round itself, 3 crore people, which is more than the population of at least 100 countries of the world, are being vaccinated.

He said that this needs to be taken up to 30 crores in the second round when elderly and people with serious co-morbidities will be vaccinated. He said that there are only three countries- India, USA and China, who have a population of more than 30 crore. This scale of vaccination campaign has never been attempted in history and this shows India’s capability, Modi said.

The Prime Minister asked people to stay away from rumours and propaganda as these made-in-India vaccines have been approved for emergency use only after the scientists and experts were fully convinced about their safety and efficacy.

Indian vaccine scientists, medical system, Indian process and institutional mechanism in this regard is trusted globally and this trust is earned with a consistent track record. The Prime Minister pointed out that 60 per cent of children world over receive life-saving vaccines which are made-in-India and pass through stringent Indian scientific tests.

The Prime Minister said this trust on Indian vaccine expertise and Indian vaccine scientists are going to be further strengthened by made-in-India Corona vaccine. Indian vaccines are not only much cheaper than the foreign vaccines but they are much easier to administer too. Some of the foreign vaccines, the Prime Minister pointed out, are priced up to five thousand rupees per dose and have to be stored in minus 70-degree temperature.

Whereas, Indian vaccines are based on technology which has been tried and tested for many years in India. With regard to storage to transportation, these vaccines are suitable for India conditions and the will help us in securing a decisive victory in our fight against Corona, said the Prime Minister.

Modi termed the Indian response to corona as one of self-confidence and self-reliance. He noted a determination of not to let the confidence weaken in every Indian. He recalled the journey from one Corona lab to the strong network of 2300 labs; from dependence to self-sufficiency to exporting capacity in masks, PPE and ventilators. He called upon people to show the same sense of self-confidence and self-reliance during the phase of vaccination drive.

All travellers to Singapore need to take Covid-19 PCR test on arrival from Jan 25 #SootinClaimon.Com

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All travellers to Singapore need to take Covid-19 PCR test on arrival from Jan 25

Jan 17. 2021

By Straits Times

SINGAPORE – Singapore has tightened its border restrictions in response to new virus variants and the worsening global pandemic situation.

All travellers, including Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents, will have to take a Covid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test when they arrive in Singapore.

This will take effect from Jan 24, 11.59pm, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Saturday (Jan 16).

The stay-home notice requirements, including the PCR test at the end of the stay, will continue to be in place.

Short-term visitors will also need travel insurance to cover the costs of their medical treatment in Singapore, if they are suspected of having the virus.

Those applying to enter Singapore under the air travel pass and reciprocal green lane arrangements will need to have a minimum coverage of $30,000 for their Covid-19-related medical treatment and hospitalisation costs in Singapore, from Jan 31, 11.59pm.

These short-term visitors are currently required to bear the full cost of medical treatment, if they are suspected of having Covid-19 or if they need medical treatment for the virus while in Singapore.

As a further precaution, all returning Singapore citizens and PRs from Britain and South Africa will be subject to an additional seven-day self-isolation at their place of residence, following their 14-day SHN at dedicated facilities.

This will take effect from Jan 18, 11.59pm.

They will be tested at the end of their SHN, and again after they have completed their seven-day self-isolation period.

These new restrictions come amid warnings from American federal health officials that a far more contagious variant of the coronavirus first identified in Britain could become the dominant source of infection in the United States by March.

This is likely to lead to a surge in cases and deaths, according to a forecast from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cases also continue to rise worldwide, with new variants detected in various countries like Brazil and South Africa, even as the global death toll hit two million this weekend.

MOH said: “As the global situation evolves, we will continue to adjust our border measures to manage the risk of importation and transmission to the community.

“The Ministry of Health will also continue to review the data and evidence on any new viral strains and update the measures accordingly.”

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Foreign workers will also need to take tests once they arrive in Singapore.

Newly arrived work permit and S pass holders from the construction, marine and process sectors from higher-risk countries or regions must take an on-arrival PCR test and serology test from Jan 18, said the Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF).

“The on-arrival PCR test will enable early detection of Covid-19 cases, provide access to medical care quickly, and reduce the risk of leakage of imported cases into the community,” MTF said.

It added that the on-arrival serology test, on the other hand, will allow for the identification of workers who have recovered and have antibodies.

These recovered workers will be exempted from SHN, additional seven-day testing regime and rostered routine testing requirements.

“This can help to minimise work disruption and associated costs from the SHN and tests. The cost of the new on-arrival tests will be borne by the employers,” MTF said.

Mount Semeru spews clouds of gas, ash #SootinClaimon.Com

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Mount Semeru spews clouds of gas, ash

Jan 17. 2021

By The Jakarta Post

Mount Semeru in Lumajang, East Java, spewed clouds of gas and ash as far as 4.5 kilometers away on Saturday afternoon as authorities warned of the potential for continuing volcanic activity.

Local authorities reported that the plumes rolled down from the volcano’s Jonggring Kaloko crater at 5:24 p.m. local time and drifted southeast. Ash also rained down north of the volcano.

“The villages of Sumber Mujur and Curah Koboan [in Lumajang] are located in the trajectory of the hot clouds,” Lumajang regent Thoriqul Haq said on Saturday in a statement.

Authorities have warned residents living in the two villages to be on alert for continuing volcanic activity and have advised people living in the Curah Kobokan river basin to stay alert for a possible “cold lava” flow triggered by high intensity rainfall combining with volcanic material.

Read also: Local governments’ readiness key to community resilience around volcanoes

The Vulcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center (PVMBG) has kept Semeru’s alert level at waspada (caution), the second-highest level in the country’s four-tiered alert system.

As of Saturday afternoon, authorities had not recorded any casualties from the increased volcanic activity.

The volcano erupted in December 2020, forcing authorities to evacuate around 550 people.

Other volcanoes across the archipelago have shown increased activity over the past several months. Mount Ili Lewotolok in Lembata, East Nusa Tenggara, erupted in late November 2020, prompting more than 4,600 residents to flee their homes for safety.

Indonesia sits along the Pacific Ring of Fire and has 127 volcanoes – 69 of which are active. (kuk)

Mission possible: Ten Nepalis become first to climb Mt K2 in the dead of winter #SootinClaimon.Com

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Mission possible: Ten Nepalis become first to climb Mt K2 in the dead of winter

Jan 17. 2021 Photo Courtesy: Seven Summit TreksPhoto Courtesy: Seven Summit Treks

By Kathmandu Post

For the last three weeks, around 60 mountaineers had battled high winds, heavy snowfall, rockfall and chilling cold to achieve what many had long believed to be impossible.

Ten Nepalis have scripted mountaineering history by standing atop the world’s most difficult and dangerous high mountain–K2–in the dead of winter for the first time.

The 8,611 metres (28,251 feet) K2, or Chhogori, the world’s second-tallest peak straddles Pakistan and China and was climbed at 17:00 (local time) Saturday for the first time in winter, Chhang Dawa Sherpa, the leader of the K2 expedition, told the Post over the phone from the mountain’s base camp in Pakistan.

“WE DID IT, BELIEVE ME WE DID IT- JOURNEY TO THE SUMMIT NEVER DONE BEFORE,” he wrote in his Facebook post. “The Karakorum’s ‘Savage Mountain’ been summited in most dangerous season: WINTER [sic].”

Thirteen of the world’s 14 peaks taller than 8,000-meters had already been climbed in winter–except K2.

“This is the greatest achievement in the history of mountaineering, this is a good example of teamwork. Thanks to the mountain for granting this climb, if the mountain lets you climb, no one can stop you,” Chhang Dawa, the youngest mountaineer to have climbed all the 14 highest peaks, wrote from K2 base camp.

All the 10 climbers gathered 10 meters below the summit and formed a group to get to the top together.

“A very special moment. The whole team waited 10m below the summit to form a group then stepped onto the summit together whilst singing our Nepalese National Anthem. We are proud to have been a part of history for humankind and to show that collaboration, teamwork and a positive mental attitude can push limits to what we feel might be possible,” Nirmal “Nims” Purja, who smashed the record in 2019 for taking the shortest time to climb all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter-high mountains, wrote on his Facebook page, two hours after he reached the summit.

For the last three weeks, around 60 alpinists from a dozen countries have battled high winds, heavy snowfall and chilling cold in an attempt to achieve what many in the mountaineering community have long believed impossible.

But on Friday came a piece of good news when four Sherpas reached Camp 4 (7,800 metres), the highest altitude on the mountain humans have reached in winter.

The team then descended to Camp 3 (7,200 metres) where another six-member joined them. The final push started at 1:00am local time Saturday.

The team reached the summit after 16 hours, enduring temperatures of up to -50 degrees C (-58 degrees Fahrenheit). 

While climbers were making bids to the summit, there was bad news at base camp.

Spanish climber Sergi Mingote, who was the co-leader of the K2 winter expedition, died on Saturday. He, however, was not part of the Saturday’s climbing team.

Chhang Dawa, the leader of the K2 expedition, told the Post over the phone from the K2 base camp that the veteran climber suddenly fell down to advanced base camp (5,600 metres) from Camp 1 (6,075 metres) while descending to base camp.

“Other climbers—Alex Gavan, Tamara and two from Poland helped him at advanced base camp. We sent a medical team from the base camp but unfortunately could not save him,” Chhang Dawa said.

“He was critically injured with both legs broken,” said Chhang Dawa.

Mingote, who has been attempting to climb all eight-thousanders without supplemental oxygen within 1,000 days, was the co-leader of the expedition. Mingote’s plan had come to a halt, after seven successful summits, due to Covid-19 related restrictions.

“It’s a great loss for the mountaineering fraternity,” said Chhang Dawa.

According to Chhang Dawa, in 1987-1988, the Polish-Canadian-British Expedition had ended their K2 winter mission at 7,300 meters. In 2002-2003, K2 a Polish expedition team had reached 7,650 meters in winter and in 2011-2012, a Russian expedition had reached 7,200 meters.

 Photo Courtesy: Nirmal Purja

Photo Courtesy: Nirmal Purja

The men atop K2 on Saturday were Mingma David Sherpa, Mingma Tenzing Sherpa, Mingma Gyalze Sherpa, Sona Sherpa, Galjen Sherpa, Pem Chiri Sherpa, Dawa Temba Sherpa, Dawa Tenjin Sherpa, Kili Pemba Sherpa and Nirmal Purja, according to Seven Summit Treks, the agency handling the expedition.

Mingma Gyalze Sherpa had planned to climb K2 without using the supplement oxygen but it is not immediately clear whether he did so or not.

According to Chhang Dawa, as all climbers had taken the supplement oxygen bottles along with them, it has not been confirmed who used it or who did not.

The climb to the top, however, had not been straightforward

When everything was going smoothly, the team on January 11 had to face a multi-day storm, which affected their plans to some extent. At Camp 2 situated at 6,760m (22,178 ft), the team was battered by heavy winds. The tents were completely ripped apart.

“Our team reached Camp 2 today [January 11] and it was a wreckage site. We found that both our tents and all equipment that we had left here for the summit plan are [sic] all destroyed and swept away by the wind,” said Purja on his Facebook post on January 11.

“We have lost everything including all our kits; sleeping bags, mattresses, heated shoe insoles, summit gloves, summit base layers, paragliding equipment, cooking equipment etc. I am devastated to be breaking this news. Now, I have to reassess and replan everything.”

There are around two dozen foreign climbers, professional and non-professional, waiting for their bids to the summit.

According to Chhang Dawa, they will decide whether to carry on or not the remaining mission, within a few days. Big winds are forecast to return after Saturday, he said.

Winds on the mountain have speeds of up to 200km per hour (124mph) that’s equal to cyclone Fani, the most severe storm that travelled more than 900 kilometres (570 miles) from the Indian state of Odisha and blew nearly two dozen tents at Everest’s Camp 2, at 6,400 metres in May last year.

The winter expedition was planned from December 21 until February 28.

Six of the climbers from other countries have planned to climb the mountain without supplement oxygen, according to Seven Summit Treks.

K2 is also considered to be a technically very difficult mountain to climb and has been dubbed “killer mountain” for the sheer number of climbers that have lost their lives on the mountain.

Eighty-four climbers have died attempting to climb K2, and only 306 have reached its summit, giving it a fatality-success ratio of roughly one death for every three summits.

On August 1, 2008, a disaster occurred on K2 and swept away 11 mountaineers. The main problem was reported as an ice avalanche occurring at “the Bottleneck”, which destroyed many of the climbers’ rope lines.

The Bottleneck, a perilous couloir about 300 metres below the summit, was the site of a 2008 tragedy in which 11 people were killed in an avalanche.

On 8am Saturday, Chhang Dawa wrote from the K2 base camp: “Team crossing bottle neck [sic] in Mt. K2.”

That was the last obstacle.