A portion of Waikiki's main drag was shut down, forcing dozens to clear the beach and sidewalk Wednesday night.
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Fire officials say the evacuation was due to a marker flare, similar to what is used by the military. The flare apparently washed up on to the shore still emitting smoke.
The portion of the shoreline blocked off by police stretched from the Duke Kahanamoku statue to the Waikiki Police Substation.
One visitor says the incident left people confused.
"I was sitting here with my son Rick and all of a sudden the police showed up and they carded off the area," said Jerry Anderson of Minnesota. "All I know is that the mass confusion was here. They told us everybody off the beach – everybody off the sidewalks – get across the street."
Another witness recounted the scene after police courted off the area.
"I asked one of the firemen what happened. He said something had washed up. I can't really tell you what it was," said Rick Anderson of Minnesota. "We were talking with some other people and they were telling us at the same time that the Coast Guard was out there searching the ocean earlier."
No one was injured, and no buildings had to be evacuated in the incident.
A hazmat team is on scene to examine and help safely remove the flare.
The blocked off right lane on Kalakaua Avenue reopened around 9:30 p.m.