As Japan scrambles to pick itself up from the havoc caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the government is subsequently struggling to avert a nearing nuclear catastrophe.

Air and ground assault have been launched against two nuclear reactor buildings which are emitting radiation in what has come to be termed as a cooling mission. Japanese military helicopters dumped water onto the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant's damaged reactors Thursday.

Elsewhere, search and rescue efforts of survivors with thousands missing and the death toll on a surging upward scale. With the damaged nuclear plants posing a huge danger, the country is now facing power shortage, besides fuel shortage. Adding to the woes, cold winds and freezing weather are hampering the relief efforts.

Start the slideshow to view photos reflecting Japan's struggles as it tries to recover from the devastation wrought by Friday's earthquake and an ensuing tsunami: