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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Indonesian woman claims to be 157 years old

Census workers in Indonesia have come across a woman who claims to be 157 years old.

Don't believe her? You could always ask her 108-year-old adopted daughter.

Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW) reports the woman, identified only as Turinah, lives in a small village on the island of Sumatra. She doesn't have identification papers because she burned them in 1965 so she wouldn't be connected to communists, she told authorities.

"There's no authentic data to prove her age but judging from her statements and the age of her adopted daughter, who's now 108 years old, it's difficult to doubt it," statistics bureau official Jhonny Sardjono told global news agency AFP Monday.

AFP reported the woman still works around her home and has smoked clove cigarettes all her life.

"Despite her age she still has an incredible memory, clear sight and has no hearing problems. She speaks Dutch quite fluently," Sardjono said.

If it's true, it means the woman has outlived the only person verified to have lived more than 120 years. Jeanne Calment of France died in 1997 at the age of 122.

RNW says Turinah claimed to be born in 1853 and is able to describe the huge eruption of the Krakatao volcano between the islands of Java and Sumatra in Indonesia in June 1883, which she said she saw with her own eyes.

In the year of her birth, street signs were authorized in San Francisco intersections for the first time, the first electric telegraph was used, the U.S. began minting $3 gold pieces and Giuseppe Verdi's Opera La Traviata premiered in Venice.



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