Minister for Disaster Management, Relief Rehabilitation & Reconstruction, Javaid Mustafa Mir today announced ex gratia relief of Rs 4 lakhs each in favour of the next of kin of the three persons who lost their lives in a snow avalanche in Lashkote forests of Lolab.The bodies of Bashir Ahmed S/o Gh Rasool, Ghulam Mohd Lone S/o Ali Mohammad, Mohammed Altaf S/o Bashir Ahmed all residents of village Warnow, Lolab, were retrieved from the avalanche area after strenuous efforts by joint rescue teams of Army, Police, SDRF, Revenue and locals comprising of more than 100 personnel. The ex- gratia relief was provided to the families of the victims under State Disaster Response Fund(SDRF)Javaid Mir appreciated the rescue teams and the local volunteers for successfully accomplishing the challenging task of search operation despite harsh terrain and inclement weather.The Minister expressed deepest condolences with the bereaved families and directed health department to provide best medical facilities to the two survivors. The Minister was personally monitoring the search and rescue operation, on a day to day basis and had directed Deputy Commissioners of Bandipora and Kupwara not to discontinue the search and rescue operation till the bodies of missing persons trapped under snow were recovered.The Minister asked Divisional Commissioner Kashmir and District Disaster Management Authorities to take note why such incident occurred when avalanche warning was already issued. He stressed on preemptive measures to prevent such incidents in the future.Meanwhile, Director, Disaster Management, Aamir Ali appealed the people living in avalanche prone areas and higher reaches, to adhere to avalanche warnings issued on daily basis through print and electronic media . He advised the people not to venture in these areas and take precautionary measures.