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Portugal's oldest woman dies at 114

Staff Reporter

Portugal's oldest woman, and one of the oldest people in the world, has died at the age of 114, Portuguese media reported on Tuesday, quoting members of her family. Maria do Couto Maia, born on October 24 1890, had been confined to bed for the past three years after scalding her feet in an accident at home with boiling water.

Portugal’s oldest woman, and one of the oldest people in the world, has died at the age of 114, Portuguese media reported on Tuesday, quoting members of her family.

Maria do Couto Maia, born on October 24 1890, had been confined to bed for the past three years after scalding her feet in an accident at home with boiling water, and in recent days had battled a severe cold, they said.

She died early on Monday in the northern village of Grijo, located about 300km north of Lisbon, where she lived with one of her three living daughters.

“She was a living historical registry,” one of her seven grandchildren, Aurora Ferreira, told daily newspaper Correio da Manha.

Maia, who continued to do farm work until she was 106, lived through the reigns of two monarchs and a right-wing dictatorship that ruled Portugal for nearly five decades, as well as the turn of two centuries.

She could recall the day when the last king of Portugal, Manuel II, visited the nearby town of Espinho in 1908 or describe in detail a country fair that used to be held in Grijo, Ferreira said.

She lived more than half of her life as a widow after her husband died when she was 52.

One of her great-granddaughters married a grandson of Portugal’s oldest man, 108-year-old Augusto Oliveira Moreira, who also lives in Grijo.

Maia was the fourth-oldest person in the world. She was just 116 days younger than the oldest person in the world, The Netherlands’ Hendrikje van Andel, daily Jornal de Noticias reported.

Portugal’s new oldest woman is Maria de Jesus, who turns 112 on September 10 and lives in the central village of Madalena, it added.—Sapa-AFP

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