'Haunting' Photo of Kentucky Movie Theater Hit by Tornado Goes Viral

A picture taken of the destruction left in the aftermath of the Kentucky tornado has gone viral online.

Mayfield resident Shawn Triplett took to social media to share pictures he had taken of devastation left by the tornados.

One photo, showing a destroyed movie theater with a view of the outside where the screen would normally be, has proven particularly popular on both Reddit and Twitter.

Triplett posted a selection of his photos, including the movie theater picture, to the r/pics subreddit this week. The post has been upvoted over 155,000 times and has upvote rate of 94 percent.

He added a message that read: "I want to thank you all once again and I hope to thank you all individually. The support has been amazing.

"I'm not a professional photographer and I'd barely say that I'm a hobbyist. I live in Mayfield where the tornado hit.

"It took out most of the town in one big swoop. You guys have been great. These past few days have been absolutely heartbreaking. I just felt the pictures should be shared... with anyone.

"Thank you again for your concern and accolades. My family is safe and my house made it by a few miles. This town means everything and has been there for me. Please consider helping out in any way you can. Thank you again."

WFLA news anchor Josh Benson shared the pictures to his Twitter account and dubbed the movie theater image "haunting".

Triplett set up a Gofundmepage to help raise money for the children who have suffered through the disaster.

The goal is to buy "toys for kids that lost everything in the tornado". It so far has raised over $5,000 of its $20,000 goal.

The message on the page reads: "Hey everyone. My name is Shawn Triplett. I live in Mayfield Kentucky that was recently hit with a tornado.

"I chose to raise money for kids that lost everything to the damage. There's a lot of kids living in shelter, in temporary government housing, or staying with friends and families.

"What we're doing is raising funds. I'm going to Walmart daily to buy truck loads of toys. Walmart has also agreed to provide a 25 percent discount on all purchases for us.

"We're then going to gift wrap the toys, I'll dress up as Santa, and we'll hand the toys out to kids most in need.

"So far we've raised $10,000 independently but with the help of this go fund me we'll raise even more.

"I'd like to int out that 100 percent of all funds raised will be used in the purchase of toys. There are no overhead costs and all extra costs will be funded by me personally. Thank you all in advance."

Newsweek has contacted Triplett for comment.

On December 14 , Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear confirmed that the current death toll of 74 had not increased. He did note that among that 74, 12 of those who died were children.

President Joe Biden said the US was seeing "one of the largest tornado outbreaks in our history" on December 12. He also insisted he and the federal government would be doing everything possible to help people in their time of need.

During a press conference, he said: "I want folks in all these states to know: We're going to get through this. We're going to get through this together. And the federal government is not going to walk away.

"This is one of those times when we aren't Democrats or Republicans. Sounds like hyperbole, but it's real. We're all Americans. We stand together as the United States of America.

"And so, I say to all the victims, you're in our prayers, and all those first responders, emergency personnel, and everyone helping their fellow Americans; that this is the right thing to do at the right time, and we're going to get through this."

Kentucky tornado
Members of the Ohio Task Force One search and recovery team search debris fields for victims of Friday's tornado on December 14, 2021 in Dawson Springs, Kentucky. Pictures of the devastation have begun to go viral on social media. Scott Olson/Getty images