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Woman Reported to be the Oldest Person in the World Dies at 124: 'Our Inspiration and Pride'

·2 min read
Francisca Susano
Francisca Susano

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A 124-year-old woman, said to be the oldest living person in the world, has died.

Government officials in Kabankalan, Philippines, in Negros Occidental announced the death of "Lola" Francisca Susano via Facebook on Monday.

"It is with sadness in our heart when we received the news that our beloved Lola Francisca Susano passed away early this Monday evening November 22," the City of Kabankalan posted on Facebook.

"Lola Iska is considered the oldest person in Negros Occidental and in the Philippines. Her official declaration as the oldest person in the world at 124 years old is currently validated by the Guinness World Records."

City leaders Mayor Pedro Zayco, Jr. and Vice Mayor Raul Rivera and "all the people of Kabankalan City condole and pray with the family of Lola Iska in their period of bereavement. Lola Iska will always remain as our inspiration and pride," the announcement concluded.

Despite Kabankalan officials' claims, Guinness World Records currently lists Kane Tanaka, born on Jan. 2, 1903, of Japan as the world's oldest living woman at age 118.

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A cause of death is currently under investigation, city public information officer Jake Carlyne Gonzales told CNN Philippines. Earlier this week, the city said the centenarian would be tested for COVID-19, though it was reported Susano did not show any symptoms leading up to her death.

Susano was reportedly born on Sept. 11, 1897, and was believed to be the only person alive who was born in the 19th century.

According to the Metro UK, she attributed her long-life to a plant-based diet and abstaining from alcohol use.

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In February, a French nun believed to be the second-oldest living person in the world beat COVID-19, days before she celebrated her 117th birthday, according to reports.

Sister André tested positive for the virus in mid-January, but showed no symptoms, French media reported, according to the Associated Press.

"I didn't even realize I had it," she reportedly told French newspaper Var-Martin.

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Though she managed to recover, the centenarian, who is blind and uses a wheelchair, told France's BFM Television that she was not frightened by her bout with the deadly virus.

"No, I wasn't scared because I wasn't scared to die," she said, according to Reuters. "I'm happy to be with you, but I would wish to be somewhere else — join my big brother and my grandfather and my grandmother."

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