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Census Finds Woman Who Claims to Be 157 Years Old

An Indonesian woman who claims to be 157 years old was discovered by an ongoing census, AFP reported Monday.

Census officials said they believed the woman's claims that she was born in 1853 — the year Giuseppe Verdi's "La Traviata" debuted in Venice, the Crimean War erupted and San Francisco saw its first street signs at intersections.

"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 said Monday.

The only person verified to have lived past 120 years of age was French woman Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 at the age of 122.

South Sumatran villager Turinah is a full 35 years older than Calment was when she died, according to officials. Turinah still works around the house and smoked clove cigarettes all her life, Sardjono said.

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

Indonesia was a Dutch colony for hundreds of years until 1945.

He said Turinah burned all her identification documents to avoid being linked to an alleged communist coup in 1965.

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