efe-epaJakarta

A 5.9-magnitude aftershock struck the northwest of Lombok on Thursday, days after a large earthquake in the area left at least 168 people dead, close to 1,500 injured and 156,000 affected.

The United States Geological Survey, which records seismic activity around the world, said the hypocenter was located at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) and 23 km from Mataram, the capital of the province, according to preliminary data.

Meanwhile, Indonesia's meteorology agency said the tremor had a magnitude of 6.2 and a depth of 12 km.

The aftershock caused people to rush out of their houses and damaged some buildings, National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho wrote in a message on Twitter.

In an earlier tweet, Sutopo had raised the death toll from the magnitude-6.9 quake that struck the island on Sunday to 168, adding that official data on casualties was slow due to the verification process.

Sutopo referred to informal figures provided by other entities, which in one case put the number of deaths at 381.

The different entities are expected to meet during the day to share the data they have gathered.

On Wednesday night in a statement, the BNPB representative asked for caution to ensure correct data and called on the media to use BNPB figures.

"Often a single victim registers (in unofficial sources) as more than one," said Sutopo, explaining that in some cases their name and nickname are used separately.

The agency also reported that 1,467 people have been hospitalized due to injuries and more than 156,000 have been displaced.

The search and rescue teams on Thursday continue to try to locate victims or survivors under the rubble of thousands of demolished buildings.

The Sunday quake occurred a week after another 6.4-magnitude tremor struck Lombok and left 16 people dead, 355 injured and 1,500 buildings destroyed.

The Indonesian archipelago is situated along the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire," an area known for its intense seismic and volcanic activity, which produce about 7,000 earthquakes each year, most of which are of moderate magnitude.